As expected, Michigan’s members of Congress stuck with their parties’ respective nominees for U.S. House speaker on Sunday with one exception: U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, who didn’t vote for anyone.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was re-elected, with Democrats retaining majority control of the House as the new Congress was installed Sunday. She defeated House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in the race for speaker, 216-209.
Slotkin voted “present” when asked during the roll call vote who she supported, as did two other Democratic members of the House, Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey. Slotkin had said when she was first elected in 2018 she believed Congress needed more Midwesterners in leadership positions and wouldn’t support Pelosi for speaker.
“It’s important to me that I live up to the commitments I make to my district. And I’ve been pretty vocal about the need for more Midwestern leaders, people who represent areas like where I’m from,” Slotkin said Sunday. She added that she spoke directly to Pelosi about her decision shortly after the November election.
Slotkin also represents a district that was formerly represented by Republican members of Congress and which voted twice for President Donald Trump, including in the election two months ago.
The vote for speaker was also the first vote for two new Michigan members of the U.S. House who were sworn in on Sunday, Reps. Lisa McClain, R-Bruce Township, and Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, both of whom backed McCarthy.
Voting for Pelosi were Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn, Dan Kildee of Flint Township, Brenda Lawrence of Southfield, Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township, Haley Stevens of Rochester Hills and Rashida Tlaib of Detroit. Voting for McCarthy, other than McClain and Meijer, were Republican Reps. Jack Bergman of Watersmeet, Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, John Moolenaar of Midland, Fred Upton of St. Joseph and Tim Walberg of Tipton.