Nebraska Congressman says Democratic leadership fight could set stage for drama

December 3, 2018

LINCOLN - A Nebraska Congressman says little is settled as Democrats prepare to take control of the United States House.

Republican Congressman Adrian Smith says opposition by some House Democrats to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi returning to the speakership could make for interesting drama on the first day of a new session.

Smith says many Democrats remain loyal to Pelosi, because she secured the votes to pass the Affordable Care Act in the House in November of 2009 when she was Speaker.

“She is good at counting votes,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I don’t think that that should be the role of the Speaker. The role of the Speaker should be a unifier, not a divider.”

If Pelosi fails to secure the votes needed to win Speaker of the House, there could be drama on the opening day of the new session of Congress in January, according to Smith.

Smith is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law. He expects the current ranking member, Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, to become the new chair and is not sure what to expect with the change in leadership. Smith says many Democrats campaigned on overturning the Republican tax-cut package, but he doubts that they will follow through, because that would raise taxes on the Middle Class.

Smith sees room for bipartisanship on infrastructure and even border security.

Anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats could have an impact on the new session of Congress.

“What kind of impact that would be is left to be determined,” Smith says. “So, I think that a lot of folks know that just opposition for the sake of opposition is not a real long-term strategy.”

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