Nancy Pelosi will remain House Speaker next year if Democrats hold their majority, but not if Republicans take control, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) said on Monday.
“If we win, she’s a shoo-in,” Pascrell said. “If we lose, we’ll probably have to look for somebody else.”
Pascrell’s support for Pelosi represents a change from four years ago, when he openly backed Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-New York) for speaker eight months before the 2018 midterm election.
But Crowley didn’t make it to the leadership election. He unexpectedly lost the June Democratic primary to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“If everybody worked as hard as Nancy Pelosi, we’d have a great nation,” Pascrell said. “Don’t tell me she’s not working hard for everybody.”
Among the most widely mentioned names to succeed Pelosi are: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-South Carolina), Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California).
When Hoyer ran for majority leader after the 2006 election, Pascrell backed his unsuccessful opponent, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania).
Pascrell blamed Republican obstructionists in the U.S. Senate for stalling key bills passed by the House.
“Nancy’s not our problem,” Pascrell said. “I don’t think we need medicine for that. We need to take our own medicine.
When Democrats took the House in 2006, Pascrell and Rep. Donald Payne, Sr. (D-Newark) emerged as her top advocates in New Jersey. Her ascension as speaker netted Pascrell a coveted seat on the House Ways and Means Committee.