Nancy Pelosi hopes to retain her role as Speaker, and her odds at doing so grew even stronger as she won over two of her most vocal detractors to her side.


Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio had been thinking of challenging Pelosi for the party’s position of Speaker, although Pelosi struck a deal with her late on Tuesday. Fudge was the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and next year she will revitalize and spearhead a currently defunct committee with a focus on voting protections. Voting protections are an issue of particular interest to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rep. Brain Higgins is a seven-term Democrat from New York who had aired his support of a letter earlier this week that opposed Pelosi. However, his tune changed when the two of them struck a deal: if he supports her, she’ll prioritize Medicare expansion and an infrastructure package. “I have an agreement in principle with the Democratic leader that those are going to be two priorities, and that I will be the lead person on the Medicare buy-in,” Higgins said to the Buffalo News.



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Higgins went into more detail in a statement, saying, “Some will ask why I have changed my position. The answer is simple: I took a principled stand on issues of vital importance not only to my constituents in Western New York but also to more than 300 million Americans whose lives can be improved by progress in these areas. A principled stand, however, often requires a pragmatic outlook in order to meet with success.” Pelosi, likewise, praised Higgins as “an extraordinary leader on the issue of achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

While Pelosi still has fellow Democrats opposing her, such as Representative-elect Ben McAdams, she has successfully maintained her position as Democratic since 2003.

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