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Higgins changes course, says he will back Pelosi as House speaker

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Rep. Brian Higgins has reversed course and now says he will support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

Higgins, for months, has been saying he would not support Pelosi in her leadership bid after the Democrats re-took control of the chamber in the midterm elections. But the South Buffalo Democrat says he changed his mind after Pelosi agreed to champion two of Higgins' top priorities: a major infrastructure bill and and allowing Higgins to take the lead on his proposal to allow people to buy in to Medicare at the age of 50.

Higgins says after California congresswomen Karen Bass backed out of her leadership challenge, there wasn't another viable replacement for Pelosi.

"What I tried to do, simply, is recognize reality, come back and fight another day, but get something for the nation and get something for the neighborhood. A trillion dollar infrastrcture bill will go a long way toward continuing the renaissance that's occuring in Buffalo," Higgins told WBFO.

Only days ago, Higgins joined more than a dozen other House Democrats in a letter calling for new leadership. He says he believes the next two years will bring a transition in leadership and believes Bass will be a candidate for speaker two years from now.

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Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.