Pelosi wins reelection as House Speaker in tight vote and with support from 'squad' members and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
HOUSE Speaker Nancy Pelosi narrowly won reelection after a tight vote on Sunday in which she earned the support of some of her caucus adversaries and absorbed only a few defections.
The two Democrats who defected by voting for other candidates over Pelosi had previously voted for other candidates over the top Democrat in 2019.
Jared Golden of Maine, who voted Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, had voted for congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois over Pelosi two years ago.
Conor Lamb voted for Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries – who nominated Pelosi for reelection. Lamb had previously voted for Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts over Pelosi in 2019.
Three Democrats in quick succession voted Present, instead of voting for Pelosi: Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.
Sherill, who said she would not support Pelosi ahead of the vote, had also not voted for Pelosi as House Speaker in 2019.
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who did not vote when her name was called, was initially praised by her supporters on Twitter for not voting for Pelosi – for whom she later voted.
Fellow progressive squad members Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Presley also voted for Pelosi, who secured 216 votes.
“I am honored to be nominated by my colleagues to serve as the Speaker of the House for the #117thCongress,” Pelosi tweeted during the vote.
Even though Democrats hold a majority in the House, Pelosi’s reelection as Speaker was expected to depend on whether six Democrats in total would defect from voting for Pelosi if every Republican member of the lower chamber voted for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California.
Out of the 435 members of the House, 428 were expected to vote in the quorum call with about 221 Democrats voting – meaning Pelosi would have had to win 215 votes.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for certain members to come, which put Pelosi's position in jeopardy.
All members of the House needed to show up at noon today and the meeting kicked off with a prayer and a roll call.
Due to the pandemic, the roll call was split into separate sessions to avoid having all 400-plus members of the House inside a room at once, according to Fox News.
Pelosi on Sunday morning sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues expressing gratitude that she would again be nominated as speaker, and confidence that the party will come together to elect her.
"I am enormously grateful for the trust that Members have placed in me," Pelosi wrote.
"I am confident that the Speaker's election today will show a united Democratic caucus ready to meet the challenges ahead, and that we are prepared to set our country on a new course."
The House could not legally move on until it had a speaker.
Pelosi has served as a California representative since 1987, and has served as House Speaker since 2019, and previously, from 2007 to 2011.
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