The California Democrat and her allies have stood up for support for their members over the past few weeks

Nancy Pelosi became the House Speaker for the 117th Congress elected and took the hammer for the fourth and possibly last time as it prepares to steer the sharply divided chamber through the final tumultuous days of the Trump era

Pelosi won 216 votes to secure speakers Five Democrats broke ranks to support someone else or to be in attendance. All Republicans voted for the minority leader of the House, Kevin McCarthy

“As we are sworn in today, we are taking on a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any previous generation of leaders. We begin the new Congress at a time of extraordinary difficulty,” Pelosi said in a speech after accepting the gavel had “Our top priority will continue to be to defeat the coronavirus and defeat it, we will”


If this is indeed Pelosi’s final term as a speaker – as she has signaled – it would mark a remarkable career in the House spanning more than three decades, including leading the Democratic Caucus for nearly 20 years and the first and still only woman who ever wielded the speaker’s gavel

Now, in the final days of President Donald Trump’s tenure, Pelosi must lead one of the thinnest majorities in the House in decades – Democrats only have 222 seats in the 211 Republican House of Representatives with two vacancies – before preparing for a new era under President-Elect Joe Biden

“We have the most capable speaker of modern times,” said Rep Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) said in an interview in the midst of the several hours of voting, “She is clearly the most capable and competent speaker – around a large group of people with different backgrounds and to bring together different political ideologies and act as one ”

In some ways, this was the speaker’s most challenging offer so far for Pelosi, as she had to meticulously complete every vote, as there was almost no room for error due to wafer-thin party margins, rebellious Democrats and the potential for last-minute absence due to the corona virus / p>

With Republicans swapping a dozen seats in November, Pelosi could only afford a handful of defectors in their caucus this time, not the 15 Democrats who unsupported their 2019 offer.Pelosi is the sixth speaker in history, the one with less than 218 votes wins

“We are an extremely small number of votes away from risking spokespersons against the Republican Party,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who has spoken loudly in the past about the need to transition to new leadership but has voted for Pelosi Sunday “It’s bigger than either of us”

The day wasn’t without a coronavirus drama either, in a sign of how sensitive the vote count was, and with recognition of the growing pandemic, House officials built a special plexiglass box in the chamber on Sunday to allow members who came up negative tested for coronavirus but quarantined themselves after exposure – two Democrats and one Republican – could still cast their votes

The move sparked outrage and scratches among lawmakers and House officials, some of whom openly questioned whether the speaker’s vote was more important than the safety of lawmakers and staff

“It is shameful to put up such a structure in the dark of night to protect only the votes Spokesman Pelosi needs to be re-elected,” said Rep Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. p>

The mechanics of the floor vote also looked very different from two years ago, when Pelosi returned to the speaker chair for the historic second time after losing the majority in 2010. While each member still stood individually to cast his or her vote, only one should a few dozen lawmakers of each party be on the ground at the same time

On the Democratic side, lawmakers were mostly seated several seats apart, although many Republicans were breaking health guidelines and sitting shoulder to shoulder in the chamber

Several members took advantage of their spotlight moment to present the speaker with personal awards: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn), for example, described Pelosi as “the best speaker in United States history, and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif) followed his vote for Pelosi with a “natural”

Overall, however, the tone of the day was less solemn than 2019, as the public health crisis and other tragedies continued to dominate for members of both parties

Several members were seen holding pins in honor of Rep-Elect Luke Letlow, who died Tuesday of complications from a coronavirus

And Pelosi initially missed her name being called to cast her vote because she turned around in her seat and spoke to Rep Jamie Raskin (D-Md), who is mourning the death of his 25-year-old son , announced earlier this week. Shortly thereafter, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) Raskin offered his condolences before voting for McCarthy, which made some in the chamber clap

Sunday’s vote ends an intense lightening bolt of lobbying behind the scenes in recent weeks by 80-year-old Pelosi and her allies to ensure full support within the caucus, including from some longtime outspoken critics of the speaker High-Level Democrats meticulously managed attendance until the last few hours – even reaching offices multiple times to confirm lawmakers would be present

In the end, the Democrats only had one absence – 84-year-old Rep Alcee Hastings (D-Fla) fighting pancreatic cancer.Two Republicans were not in attendance to vote – Rep-Elect David Valadao (R-Calif) and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla), who both tested positive for the coronavirus in the past few days

Wisconsin Democratic MP Gwen Moore, who also recently tested positive for the coronavirus, was released from quarantine at midnight and traveled to Washington to cast her vote

Pelosi successfully turned over several of the Democratic defectors who did not support their 2019 efforts, including Reps Kurt Schrader (D-Erz), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Ron Kind (D-Wisc), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn) and Jason Crow (D-Colo)

But not every returning Democrat ultimately voted for Pelosi, despite strong warnings from high-ranking party members that they should

Rep Jared Golden (D-Maine) became the first defect of the day, casting his vote for Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) He was followed by Rep Conor Lamb (D-Pa), who was the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries, selected as speaker, was not expected to have both Golden and Lamb support Pelosi

Three other Democrats who did not support Pelosi in 2019 – Representatives Elissa Slotkin from Michigan, Abigail Spanberger from Virginia and Mikie Sherrill from New Jersey – all voted “in attendance” “


Pelosi’s fourth term as spokeswoman comes two years after a group of Democratic rebels tried to block their way to the gavel and only backed away after agreeing to a four-year tenure on the House

But in many ways, Pelosi has only consolidated more power since then and gotten through a chaotic 116 Congress, which began under the longest government shutdown in history, positioned Trump as the leading opponent of what eventually led to the president’s impeachment before quickly being consumed by the coronavirus that effectively closed the nation down for the past nine months >

Pelosi did not have a challenger this time around, but was repeatedly asked if this would actually be her last term

“What I said at the time is, whether it happens or not, I’ll stick to the limits that exist,” Pelosi told reporters in November about the deal she made with Democratic rebels in 2018. ” I don’t want to undermine my leverage, but I made the statement ”


After the speaker’s vote, the House will focus on the final gasp of Trump’s tenure, including the potential mayhem on Wednesday when Republicans make one final doomed attempt to reverse Biden’s victory results as Congress meets, to confirm the election results

The effort has no chance of success, but makes for a long day that may bleed and drama into the next Republicans spent most of Sunday openly battling each other over Trump’s attempts to undermine the elections. p>

Pelosi, speaker of the house vote

World news – USA – Pelosi re-elected the speaker despite a narrow majority

Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/03/pelosi-speaker-election-454076