Schrader & DeFazio decline to cast pro forma vote for Pelosi for Speaker

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Even though the election results in November made it clear that the Republicans - led by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) - would be taking the gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House nonetheless takes a pro forma vote for Speaker. Typically, members from party votes for whomever is the leader of their caucus.

But, earlier today, Oregon's Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader declined to vote for Nancy Pelosi as their choice for Speaker. DeFazio, who led a revolt against Pelosi after the election, didn't vote at all. Schrader cast a lonely vote for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the #2 ranking Democrat in the House.

They weren't alone. Eleven "Blue Dog" Democrats voted for Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) - who had run against Pelosi inside the caucus. As Talking Points Memo noted:

Other Democrats voted more randomly: Reps. John Barrow (GA) and Gabrielle Giffords (AZ) voted for Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Reps. Dennis Cardoza (CA) and Jim Costa (CA) voted for one another; Rep. Ron Kind (WI) voted for Rep. Jim Cooper; Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL) voted for Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

And Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) voted "present", essentially declining to vote like DeFazio.

Update: DeFazio wasn't even in Washington, DC. Instead, he was in Roseburg - working with folks who are trying to save the Veterans Hospital there.

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    I guess Schrader doesn't want to be hammered again with the Nancy Pelosi mantra next election cycle.

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      Yeah because the GOP won't be going after him hammer and tong in 2012 because of this entirely meaningless protest vote.

      (rolls eyes)

      BTW, this petulant middle finger vote against Pelosi comes across to me (who personally donated money directly to his campaign) as a big FU from Schrader.

      Highly disappointed in both DeFazio and Schrader over this meaningless and pathetic grandstanding.

      Pelosi's leadership got more progressive things passed in the House than in any 2 year session in nearly a century. But somehow DeFazio and Schrader are pissed because much of it died int he Senate?

      (sakes head)

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        FYI, I just updated the post with details about where DeFazio was - since he wasn't in DC voting for Pelosi.

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        Have you ever heard DeFazio explain his position Mitchell? You may want to look into why he didn't vote for her/didn't support her. After doing so, I doubt that you'll find that this or anything that he does is "meaningless" or "pathetic." He has been one of the most outspoken and articulate champions of progressive causes for a while and one of the few progressives willing to stand up against the democratic establishment. He deserves far more respect than you're giving my opinion.

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        Schrader is a good fit for his district. And running with a vote against Pelosi on his resume will help him. This vote was pure symbolism, and on the issues Schrader went with Pelosi most of the time. Kurt Schrader is a smart politician who will keep his district blue for several election cycles to come. Any Dem. who can win the endorsements of the VFW and the ARA while voting for health care and financial reg reform and win an election soundly in a year of a red tide is doing well in a swing district. I like Nancy Pelosi but she doesn't help Kurt Schrader win in Dist. 5.

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    Oh yeah -- Full disclosure: My firm built campaign websites for Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader. I speak only for myself.

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    Cheap shots (by commission and omission) against a great speaker. I say this though I love Peter. I don't feel for Schrader what I do for Peter. Schrader being the first D in Oregon history to become a Blue Dog Democrat ...

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