Pelosi Rebuffed in First Vote
Moderate Dems May Play Key Role in House
Speaker of the House designate Nancy Pelosi failed her first test as a leader today.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., defeated Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania for House majority leader — by a vote of 149-86. Pelosi had made it clear she preferred Murtha for the second most powerful job in the House.
Amanda Banks, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Hoyer was the logical choice for the new leadership position due to his current position as the number 2 Democrat, but he doesn't have a good relationship with Pelosi.
"On the other hand, his opponent, John Murtha, has a very close relationship with Congresswoman Pelosi, and even ran her campaign for a leadership position back in 2001 — when she was running against Steny Hoyer," Banks said.
Murtha was known as a hard-line pro-defense Democrat until he publicly called for an end to the Iraq War last year. Today, Pelosi credited Murtha's anti-war record with helping Democrats win control of Congress.
But Banks said Murtha's strong stance on the war may have alienated some of the moderate-to- conservative Democrats, especially newly elected congressmen.
(Source: Focus on the Family, Citizen Link, Nov. 16, 2006)