Political Notebook

Costa says he voted against Pelosi. Here’s what it’ll take to change his mind

Jim Costa discusses immigration reform, detention facilities and the wall

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, talks about immigration reform, a recent visit to a detention facility on the border, and the wall, during an editorial board meeting at the Fresno Bee, Wed. August 29, 2018.
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Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, talks about immigration reform, a recent visit to a detention facility on the border, and the wall, during an editorial board meeting at the Fresno Bee, Wed. August 29, 2018.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, released a statement Friday saying he was one of 32 Democrats to vote against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in this week’s caucus leadership election.

Pelosi won the party’s nomination with 203 votes but fell short of the 218 votes she will need to be elected speaker of the House on Jan. 3.

In his statement, Costa praised some of Pelosi’s moves to elevate new leaders in the Democratic caucus and reach an understanding with the Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Costa is a member.

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But the 14-year incumbent said Pelosi must commit to solutions for the San Joaquin Valley, specifically a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would address the area’s water and transportation issues. Costa has said previously that such a bill may be the only legislation the incoming Congress may get through, given the Republican control of the Senate and White House.

Costa also asked for more movement on health care – specifically on work to lower prescription drug costs – and immigration.

He said throughout his most recent campaign that he was in favor of new leadership in the House. Pelosi appointed several younger members to leadership positions, but there does not appear to be a clear line of succession to the speaker’s chair.

Costa said he was hopeful that ongoing conversations with Pelosi will be fruitful and that he will be able to support her in January.

Pelosi’s office did not return a request for comment.

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