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Courtney gets behind Pelosi’s bid for speakership

November 23, 2018

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, this week declared his support for Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House speaker.

“The House must be able to work its will on issues such as health care, higher education affordability and job training. With her commitment to such a process in the House, I look forward to supporting Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House,” Courtney wrote in a post on his Twitter page Wednesday.

“Pelosi’s new plan to empower committees, revive open rules and return to regular order will reverse years of top down control that has led to much of gridlock and polarization that the American people are clamoring to change,” Courtney said.

House Democrats are expected to hold a vote on Wednesday to select their nominee for speaker. The full House will select a new speaker on Jan. 3.

Pelosi, D-Calif., is the minority leader, but with the Democratic turnover in the House, she aggressively is seeking the speakership, which she held from Jan. 4, 2007, to Jan. 3, 2011.

Earlier this week, 16 House Democrats released a letter opposing her bid, saying they will support “new leadership.” That opposition seemed to have faded by week’s end. Pelosi reportedly won over U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, who considered running against her, after saying she’d pick her to run an elections subcommittee, abolished by Republicans in 2013.

By Friday, no one had come forward to run against Pelosi, who is expected to easily win the nomination from House Democrats next week.

The Hartford Courant reported Thursday that Jahana Hayes, the Democrat who won election to 5th Congressional District seat previously held by Elizabeth Esty, still was on the fence about whether she would support Pelosi. She told The Courant she’s not willing to oppose Pelosi without knowing the alternatives, and that if someone else put their name in, she would evaluate that person’s abilities. On the campaign trail, Hayes said she would not vote for Pelosi and that it was time for a “generational shift in leadership.”

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and John Larson, D-1st District, told The Connecticut Mirror last week that they would support Pelosi. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, 2nd District, reportedly wanted more information from Pelosi about her agenda before making a decision. Courtney had said the same last week.

Among the first orders of business to be taken by the House Democrats in the new Congress is a vote on the Government by the People Act, campaign finance reform legislation that aims to incentivize small donations. That “should send a powerful signal that this will truly be a reform Congress,” Courtney said Wednesday.

j.bergman@theday.com

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