Peltola would support bipartisan, coalition House speaker
Alaska Native U.S. legislator says that's how things get done in her state, so why not in the lower chamber, too.
WASHINGTON — While supporting U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Chickasaw Nation citizen, might float some people’s boats in the ongoing stymied race to approve a Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, another Indigenous federal legislator is leaning toward supporting a coalition majority to run the lower legislative body.
Alaska Native U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK), first elected in August in a special election to fill the deceased U.S. Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) seat — and then reaffirmed in a regular election contest in November — is starting a social media drumbeat supporting the bipartisan idea.
Several politicos of various stripes have already expressed support for the idea, and it should come as no surprise that the moderate Democratic politician from Alaska — a state accustomed to putting party ideals aside for betterment of the state’s interests — is supportive of such a plan.
“Alaska is such an enormous state that, of course, I plan on working very, very closely and working in as much alignment as I possibly can with both of the [Republican] Alaska senators,” Peltola told Indigenous Wire in a September interview, reflecting her bipartisan nature.
RELATED: Salmon time! Indigenous Wire's exclusive interview with the first Alaska Native elected to U.S. Congress
While the idea is gaining traction in some circles, as U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues on with his drawn out, still failing bid to become speaker, it seems unlikely that Dems would shift their support away from U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the first African American in his position. He’s earned all 212 Dem votes for speaker on every vote thus far, and there have been 12 of them as of this writing.
But Jeffries would not be a coalition candidate to lead the U.S. House, as many Republicans would view him as too liberal for the job.
A new candidate would be needed, and it seems unlikely the Dems would turn away from Jeffries unless they could gain something major in return.
Maybe Peltola has some ideas.
Happy New Year, Wiredians.
Indigenous Wire is a Native-owned, reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.