WASHINGTON — Rep. Kathleen Rice bucked House Democratic leadership again Tuesday by being one of four House Democrats to vote for someone other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for House speaker.
Rice, a Garden City Democrat in her second term, voted instead for Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) — who is not related to Speaker Paul Ryan — to continue her protest of the current leadership and the Democrats’ failure to determine why they have not won back the House majority.
In the speaker vote, Pelosi lost, as expected, to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who became House speaker in October 2015. In the party-line vote, 239 Republicans voted for Ryan and 189 Democrats voted for Pelosi.
On Nov. 30, Rice backed Tim Ryan as the insurgent challenger to Pelosi for the post of House Democratic leader in a Democratic caucus vote. Pelosi won by a 134-63 tally.
After that vote, Rice said Democrats needed to change leaders and direction of the party. “We have just posted our fourth losing election cycle, and no one is being held accountable,” Rice said.
On Tuesday, Rice stayed true to that vote.
“For her it was just a matter of consistency. She came out and said she felt the caucus needed new leadership. And so her vote today was consistent with that position,” said Rice spokesman Coleman Lamb.
Freshman Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he voted for Pelosi. Republican Reps. Pete King of Seaford and Lee Zeldin of Shirley voted for Paul Ryan.
Other Democrats who did not vote for Pelosi were Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), who backed Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.); Cooper, who supported Rep. Tim Ryan, and Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who voted for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the only Republican who did not vote for Paul Ryan. Massie voted for former Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.