Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins (NY) told reporters Wednesday that he does not support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as top Democrat in the chamber.
Citing concerns about the lack of cohesion within the Democratic party, Higgins referred to Pelosi as “aloof, frenetic, and misguided.”
Higgins also criticized Pelosi for her inaction on pushing infrastructure and Medicare legislation.
“I’m giving voice to a frustration that I hear every single day,” said Higgins. “It’s members. I don’t want to call anybody out. But this is the conversation that is taking place.”
Higgins feels that Pelosi is “out of touch” with what is going on in New York and the Midwest. “Democratic voters…feel politically homeless, and it’s because we are not offering something affirmative to give people hope and something to invest in, in the way that we want to do things.”
In other words, Democrats are failing to come up with an alternative agenda to that of President Trump.
“The only thing I have is a voice and a vote, and I have to use that to try to get my conference to recognize that resistance to Trump at best is only half of it,” said Higgins. “We have to offer something affirmative.”
Pelosi insists that Higgins’s criticism stems from policy disagreements over his Medicare legislation, which would enable Americans age 50 and older to sign up for Medicare.
Higgins insists his proposal would help middle-aged Americans struggling to pay health care premiums that have grown more expensive thanks to Republicans’ attacks on Obamacare and would help stabilize the system’s finances by bringing in younger, healthier Americans.
Higgins’s idea is among many proposals “on the table” for Medicare, said Pelosi. “The House Democratic Caucus is full of entrepreneurial thinking and innovative ideas,” she continued. “We welcome a robust debate on the many proposals our members have put forth, respecting policy differences, hopefully without personal attacks.”
In his criticism of Pelosi, Higgins mentioned the following Congressmen as possible successors: Karen Bass (CA), Steny Hoyer (MD), Joe Crowley (NY), and perhaps Tim Ryan (OH).
According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, nearly 50% of Democratic voters are less likely to support a candidate who backs Pelosi.
The poll also suggests that 27% of Democratic voters will not support a candidate associated with the Clintons and that 38% of Republican voters will not support candidates endorsed by President Trump.
“I think it’s time to move on,” said Democratic candidate Nate McMurray, who will be challenging Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from Clarence. “If this blue wave really does happen, it’s a request to go a different way, a mandate to do things differently.”
Nancy Pelosi, 78, entered the House of Representative in 1988 and has been reelected more than 10 times since.
In 2002, she became the chamber’s first female Democratic leader. In 2006, she became the first female House Speaker.