Politics & Policy

Pelosi Reelected Speaker of the House

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, December 30, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Nancy Pelosi won reelection as Speaker of the House Sunday afternoon.

House members voted to reelect Pelosi in a 216-208 party line vote on Sunday, the first day of the 117th Congress.

The vote left little room for error given Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the lower chamber and coronavirus quarantine measures that threatened to prevent several members from making it to the floor for the vote.

The veteran California congresswoman ran unopposed after 17 years serving as House Democratic leader. On Sunday morning, she appeared to have enough support to be reelected. The first female House Speaker, Pelosi has served in that position since 2019 and previously from 2007 to 2011.

Democrats lost about a dozen House seats in November and now control only 222 seats. In 2018, Pelosi was elected to the speakership despite a total of 15 Democrats refusing to vote for her, a luxury she could not afford this time.

Some progressive members of the House have expressed chagrin with the prospect of Pelosi holding on to the speakership.

In October, progressive New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hedged on whether she would support Pelosi as Speaker again, saying she will support the “most progressive” candidate.

Ocasio-Cortez ended up voting for Pelosi on Sunday. Five Democrats defected however. Representatives Jared Golden and Conor Lamb cast their votes for people other than Pelosi, while Elissa Slotkin, Mikie Sherrill, and Abigail Spanberger voted “present.”

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was the Republican candidate for Speaker.

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