Tennessee Democrats are criticizing U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper because the Nashville Democrat joined all the Republicans in the Tennessee delegation in voting against the bill to avoid the fiscal cliff.
But Cooper also cast another controversial vote shortly thereafter. Instead of voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker he instead voted for Colin Powell. House members can vote for anyone they want as speaker, and the person doesn’t have to be a member of the House. Cooper joined a group of eight Blue Dog Democrats who voted for someone other than Pelosi. Two of his fellow dissenters voted for Cooper.
In 2011 there were 20 Democrats who did not vote for Pelosi after the Democrats lost the House in the 2010 election.