One of 16 Democrats who signed a recent letter promising to oppose House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) speakership bid for the next Congress flipped to Pelosi’s side on Wednesday.
Rep. Brian Higgins’ (D-NY) support of Pelosi, in exchange for concessions from the leader on two of Higgins’ priorities, comes a day after Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) abandoned a potential challenge to Pelosi’s speakership.
Higgins told The Buffalo News that he is now supporting Pelosi in exchange for an “agreement in principle” from the leader that Democrats under her leadership will advance a “major infrastructure bill early in the next Congress,” in the paper’s words, and a commitment to let Higgins lead the charge on a proposal to let Americans buy into Medicare at age 50.
“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 told the Buffalo News.
“I’ve been talking to her three or four times over the last several days,” he said, adding that he’d spoken to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as well.
Besides, Higgins said, after both Fudge and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) lined up behind Pelosi, “The bottom line is, we don’t even have a semblance of a viable alternative at this point.”