Jahana Hayes now backs Nancy Pelosi for speaker’s post
Jahana Hayes, an incoming House Democrat who during the campaign flatly stated she wouldn’t vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi for House speaker, said Tuesday she has changed her mind.“You can’t beat someone with no one, and the fact is that voting against Pelosi on the floor is a vote for the Republicans, Ms. Hayes said. “The American people sent Democrats to Congress so that we would fight for the values they care about and to act as a check on this administration. Voting against Nancy Pelosi accomplishes neither of those goals. In fact, it undermines them.“Ms. Hayes won a seat from Connecticut in this month’s elections and during the campaign she’d been what one local NBC affiliate called “direct” in her previous anti-Pelosi stance: “I would not vote for Nancy Pelosi.“In her statement Tuesday she downplayed that vehemence, insisting she’d said she wouldn’t demand a change in Democratic leadership “just for the sake of making change.“Ms. Pelosi faces a first test Wednesday in the House as the Democratic Caucus approves its leaders, including settling on its nominee for speaker.She only needs a majority of the caucus to be its speaker’s nominee.But she’ll need to garner support from 218 Democrats to win the speakership in the whole House on Jan. 3.Contrary to what Ms. Hayes said, voting for another Democrat other than Ms. Pelosi in January is not a vote for Republicans. The speaker must garner an absolute majority, so as long as Democrats don’t defect to vote for a Republican, the House will continue voting until someone emerges with the majority.But derailing Ms. Pelosi’s bid could be a major blow to Democrats’ hopes of a smooth transition into the majority.