WASHINGTON--Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) was one of 19 House Democrats who declined on Wednesday to vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as Democratic leader.
Lipinski, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House has long been at ideological odds with Pelosi during her time as House Speaker.
Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, ended her tenure when she turned over the gavel to new Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Lipinski said in a statement that since the selection of Pelosi was a foregone conclusion--Democrats, as did Republicans held meetings before Wednesday to pick their leaders for the 112th Congress--the Wednesday vote was "largely symbolic."
With that in mind, Lipinski, who is Polish-American, cast a vote for Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who he called, in his statement, "a Polish-American Democrat from Toledo who is the most senior woman in the House."
Lipinski did not detail his beefs with Pelosi.
The Speaker is elected by the entire House, with each party nominating a speaker candidate, with the vote usually almost always falling on party lines. Boehner became speaker with 241 votes to 173 for Pelosi and the 19 Democrats who voted for someone else in a symbolic gesture.
Lipinski on Kaptur: I cast my vote for Marcy Kaptur, a Polish-American Democrat from Toledo, Ohio, who is the most senior woman in the House of Representatives, beginning her 15th term. During her long career in the House, Ms. Kaptur has always been a strong voice for American workers, especially those working in manufacturing in the Midwest, and like myself was a fierce opponent of the Wall Street bailout. American manufacturing workers have been hit hard in the past decade, especially during this terrible recession that we are still trying to dig our way out of. I voted for Ms. Kaptur both to honor her service in the House and to call attention to those issues that both of us continue to fight hard for in Congress - promoting American jobs and helping the forgotten hard-working middle-class Americans who continue to struggle. During her time in Congress, Marcy has also been a courageous pro-life voice, and has been very active on issues important to American relations with Central Europe, especially Poland, and to all those Americans who trace their ancestry to that region.