Nancy Pelosi Retains Speakership
Do you support or oppose Pelosi’s bid to remain Speaker of the House?
by Causes | 1.3.21
UPDATE 1/3/2021 (4:45pm Eastern)
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has secured enough votes to win another term as Speaker of the House. It will be her fourth overall term as speaker, and her second consecutive term.
- Only five Democrats opposed Pelosi: Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) voted for Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) voted for Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Reps. Mikie Sherill (D-NJ), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) voted present.
- All Republicans in attendance voted for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
What’s the story?
- The first significant vote the House of Representatives will take on Sunday when the 117th Congress begins its session will be the election of the speaker, which will be a pivotal moment for current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as she looks to keep hold of the speaker’s gavel.
- While no challengers have been publicly campaigning against Pelosi in this cycle so she is the clear frontrunner, the small Democratic majority leaves her with little margin for error among the caucus if she is to win a fourth term as speaker of the House.
- At the start of the 116th Congress two years ago, Democrats held 235 seats and Pelosi was elected with 220 votes from Democratic lawmakers. A speaker has to win an absolute majority of the votes cast (rather than an absolute majority of the full House), which Pelosi managed to do in January 2019 despite 15 Democrats voting against her speakership.
- Of those 15 Democrats, 10 won re-election and will be in attendance Sunday (while one is in an as-yet uncalled race). It’s also unclear how many of the 15 Democrats who will be sworn in and take their first votes on Sunday will vote on Pelosi’s candidacy.
- If the House doesn’t elect a speaker on the first ballot, the process will continue with additional balloting and no restrictions are imposed on who can receive votes. While every House speaker has been an elected member of the House of Representatives, there is no constitutional requirement that the speaker be a member, so the House could theoretically install a speaker who wasn’t elected.
- Due to the one uncalled election, the tragic death of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA), lawmakers potentially unable to attend because of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing, it’s unclear at this time how many votes Pelosi will need to win to secure the speakership.
Which Democrats still in the House voted against Pelosi’s last speaker bid?
- Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), who has said he will vote for Pelosi this time.
- Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), who has said he will vote for Pelosi this time.
- Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME)
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
- Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA)
- Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
- Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), who has said he is open to voting for Pelosi this time.
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI)
- Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
- Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Ghana via Flickr / Public Domain)
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