Rep-Elect Deb Haaland Backs Nancy Pelosi for Speaker

(INSET: Nancy Pelosi) Native American candidate Deb Haaland who is running for Congress in New Mexico's 1st congressional district seat for the upcoming mid-term elections, speaks in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 1, 2018. - If Haaland is successful she will be the first Native American woman to hold a …
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty, Alex Wong/Getty

Rep.-elect Deb Haaland (D-NM), the first Native American woman elected to Congress, confirmed her support for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker on Tuesday.

“I’m supportive of her,” Haaland said of Pelosi during POLITICO‘s Women Rule Summit. “I voted in the caucus ‘yes’ on her election and I’ll vote on the floor.

“In this era, we need leadership that is tested and true and experienced,” the incoming progressive lawmaker added.

In August, Pelosi appeared at Haaland’s campaign headquarters in Nob Hill to endorse the progressive candidate and voice her support for reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which provides federal grants to advocacy groups working to combat domestic violence.

During her remarks, Pelosi lauded Haaland in the face of so-called negative Republican campaign ads against the Democrat. “These races are tough and getting into the arena, as I say to Deb all the time, is not for the faint of heart,” Pelosi told attendees of the event.

Haaland’s public support for Pelosi come after reports of Democrats pressing the House Minority Leader to commit to limiting how long lawmakers could serve as House party leaders or committee chairs, according to the Associated Press.

Should Pelosi and her opponents reach an agreement, it could move her toward the support she will need when the new House convenes January 3 and votes on its new speaker. Thus far, Pelosi encountered a small bloc of Democrats saying they oppose her, in part because they want the 78-year-old and other long-serving leaders to step aside and give younger lawmakers room to advance.

Negotiations were still underway and it was unclear when an agreement might be reached, said several Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. A spokesman for Pelosi declined to comment.

Assuming all House members vote for a specific candidate and all Republicans oppose her, Pelosi will need 218 votes to become speaker. If Democrats have 234 seats — the number they’ve won so far — she could lose no more than 16 Democrats and still prevail.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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