Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush Won’t Commit To Voting For Nancy Pelosi As Speaker

In a Sunday interview with CNN, a clip of which can be viewed below, two rising progressive stars refused to commit to voting for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Speaking with host Dana Bash, incoming Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri — both of whom won their seats in the lower chamber after defeating entrenched Democratic Party incumbents — refused to say whether they will voice support for Pelosi when the time comes.

Asked point-blank if they will vote for Pelosi as speaker, both Bowman and Bush dodged the question, saying they will consult members of their respective communities before reaching a decision.

“What I’m going to do is make sure that voices of the people of St. Louis are heard and that we have what we need, so you’ll find out then,” Bush said.

“That’s not a yes,” Bash pointed out, but Bush insisted that she is “working with my community” and once again declined to commit to backing Pelosi.

The host then turned to Bowman, asking if he will back Pelosi to lead House Democrats for another two years. Much like Bush, he dodged the question and refused to commit to backing the veteran congresswoman.

“So, you will find out when my vote is tallied and, again, organizing with our community to figure out what’s best,” he said.

Bash then asked the progressive duo to explain what they mean when they say they need to talk to people in their communities before casting their votes.

Bowman did not directly answer the question, but he suggested that Democratic leadership needs to meet progressives’ demands if they expect to have their votes.

The newly-elected congressman pointed to a number of policies left-wing lawmakers have supported, such as reparations for descendants of slaves, single-payer healthcare and a federal jobs guarantee program.

In recent weeks, progressives in the House have faced pressure from left-wing activists to withhold their support for Pelosi until she meets their demands. The Democratic majority in the lower chamber was reduced to a handful of seats this election cycle, so a progressive voting bloc could obstruct Pelosi and other leaders’ agenda.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the leading progressives in Congress, recently responded to the suggestion that she should not support Pelosi unless the speaker brings single-payer legislation to a vote. The congresswoman expressed opposition to the strategy, arguing that it would be better to fight for other legislative priorities.

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