Democratic Congressman-elect Anthony Brindisi, who won a narrow victory over Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), is sticking to his commitment against voting for Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker of the House. This comes even after some Democrats who initially opposed Pelosi, have switched to backing her.
Brindisi was one of 16 Democrats to sign a letter pledging to support new leadership in the House.
“I am saying the same thing that I said during the campaign," Brindisi said. "I am not going to support Nancy Pelosi, whether it is in caucus, I’m not going to vote for Nancy Pelosi on the floor.”
House Democrats will likely nominate Pelosi at a caucus vote Wednesday. The full House will vote on the speaker Jan. 3.
Rep. Brian Higgins of western New York and Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, who both signed the same letter opposing Pelosi, now back her. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a possible Pelosi challenger, also ended up endorsing her. Even without a clear challenger to Pelosi, Brindisi remained steadfast.
"We’ll see if any names come forward between now and January 3 when that vote takes place," Brindisi said. "There’s certainly a number of people, I think, that could effectively do the job and I ran on a change in leadership in Washington."
Brindisi said he has texted with Tenney. Both say they want a smooth transition. In an interview with WUTQ radio’s Talk of the Town last week, Tenney said Brindisi is going to have to find a way to get along with President Donald Trump. And Brindisi said there are things they can agree on.
“On issues where I can find common ground with the president, like transportation and infrastructure spending, or bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, I’m very much going to work with the president and members on the other side of the aisle,” Brindisi said. “If there are policies he’s putting forward that I think are going to hurt this country or harm this region, then I’m going to stand up against the president.”
Brindisi, who is stepping down from the New York State Assembly to join Congress, said he also wants to focus on fixing the Affordable Care Act by protecting people with pre-existing conditions, as well as campaign and ethics reform.