Davids Announces Leadership Vote

During our campaign, I heard from people all around Kansas’ 3rd district who were ready for change. I heard that people are tired of business as usual in Washington. They were tired of representatives putting the special interests ahead of them. And, most of all, they wanted a new representative who would work to be a check on the Trump Administration and get things done.

It was the honor of my life earlier this month when they chose me to fill that role.

Since the election, I’ve met with people around the district and leaders in Washington to hear their ideas and plans for moving our country forward. I’m in the process of meeting with all the members of the Kansas delegation, regardless of party, to find ways we can work together. This week I’ll head back to Washington for additional orientation, and before I am officially sworn-in in January, I will cast my first votes to help decide who will lead the Democratic House.

I plan to vote for several younger and newer members for leadership roles in the House Democratic Caucus and I will also vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

Here’s why.

First, no one else has stood up to challenge Leader Pelosi. As my new colleague, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver told the Kansas City Star, “You’ve got to have somebody to beat somebody.” Kansans didn’t elect me to go to Washington to play political games and take symbolic protest votes. They elected me to get things done. The best way to move forward as we face unprecedented threats to our healthcare access and to our democracy is to unite behind the person who is clearly going to become the next speaker, and who, whatever differences we may have, will stand up to those threats.

What’s more, we do have new leadership at the table. I am one of more than 50 new Democratic members this year. Our class is the youngest and most diverse class ever, and we’re a significant portion of the Democratic caucus. Together we will have more influence on our caucus than any freshman class since the Watergate era. Not only that, but a new generation of outstanding candidates for other leadership positions have stepped forward-- from Rep. Cheri Bustos for DCCC Chair, to Rep. Ben Ray Lujan for Assistant Leader, to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for Caucus Chair to Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan for the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. The new generation of leaders is growing and we won’t be ignored.

I also have said time and again that whoever would get my vote for speaker had to have a plan for fixing the way business is done (or more recently, not done) in Washington. That’s why I appreciate that Leader Pelosi has embraced input from new voices on rules changes that we’ll be voting on as soon as the new Congress is sworn in and I’ll continue to push for that vote. The proposed new rules include measures that would give the public enough time to read bills before they’re voted on, help end the brinkmanship around the debt ceiling that repeatedly threatens our country’s economy, make it easier to bring measures that have broad support to the floor for a vote, make it harder to raise taxes on the middle class, and generally restore regular order to the House of Representatives. These are good ideas that will begin to make Congress work better for the American people.

The Leader has also gotten behind a package of good-government reforms that I endorsed during the campaign to help rebuild people’s trust in their government and make our democracy work better with provisions on campaign finance reform and voting rights. I will continue to advocate for those changes and to hold the Democratic leadership accountable for making these things happen.

Finally, I will certainly not do anything that could make a Kevin McCarthy speakership possible. A McCarthy speakership would mean healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions is in jeopardy, that more tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class are probable, and that the President can still act unchecked by Congress. Those are all things that the Kansas 3rd congressional district has rejected loudly and clearly and that I will continue to stand up against.