Nancy Pelosi is no longer the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but she is the leader of all the House Democrats, and that means she has the power to direct the selection of which Democrats have the senior leadership in House committees.
One such leadership position opened up yesterday, when U.S. Representative Ed Markey was elected to take the seat that John Kerry vacated in the U.S. Senate. Markey had been the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, and so that position, as well as Markey’s seat in the House, is up for grabs.
Earlier this week, a gigantic coalition of environmentalist and liberal organizations wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi, urging her to support Representative Raul Grijalva for the Natural Resources post. The letter stated, “We believe Rep. Grijalva will bring to the position of Ranking Member the positive and collaborative approach needed to find solutions to these critical environmental issues. He has the conviction and experience to ensure our nation’s irreplaceable natural resources – from endangered species topublic lands – are managed sustainably for the benefit of all Americans for generations to come.”
Will Pelosi give Grijalva her support? Regardless of Grijalva’s popular backing, there is some doubt. Grijalva is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and in her various House leadership positions, Pelosi has advanced a center right agenda, rather than a progressive one.