My1sttoday: Nancy Pelosi wins speaker of the house for fourth time in a row. House Democrats rallied Sunday to elect Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as Speaker in the 117th Congress, overcoming opposition from a handful of restive moderates urging new leadership to grant Pelosi her fourth term at the top of the chamber.
A total of five Democrats declined to support Pelosi on the chamber floor, urging a changing of the guard after 18 years under Pelosi’s reign – a sharp decline from the 15 defections she encountered in 2019.
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted for Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a military veteran; Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) opted for Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). And three other Democrats – Reps. Elissa Slotkin (Mich.), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.) and Abigail Spanberger (Va.) – voted “present,” allowing them to log their disapproval with the long-time leader while simultaneously lowering her threshold for victory.
“I’ve been pretty vocal about the need for more Midwestern leaders, people who represent areas like where I’m from,” Slotkin said shortly before the vote. “It’s a commitment that I made in March of 2018 before I was elected.”
Yet the detractors fell short of blocking Pelosi, who ran unopposed, and there was a clear sense that the process was orchestrated in such a way to allow a certain number of moderate Democrats in tough districts to register their opposition to the liberal leader, for messaging purposes back home, while keeping their ranks small enough to ensure she kept the gavel.
Paving her path, several Democrats who had opposed Pelosi in 2019 had a change of heart this year and backed her, including Reps. Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Jason Crow (Colo.) and Kathleen Rice (N.Y.).
Meanwhile, those newcomers declined to go after Pelosi, citing a need for Democrats to unite heading into the new Congress.
“Our country needs stability right now,” Bowman said coming off of the chamber floor after the vote. “And it’s really important for the Democratic Party to come together and figure out not just how to govern for the 117th, but going forward for the country.”
The timing of the vote might also have played to Pelosi’s advantage. It came just two days before a pair of special Senate elections in Georgia will decide which party controls the upper chamber next year, and three days before Congress will vote to affirm Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the face of opposition from conservative allies of President Trump, who are fighting to overturn the election results in several battleground states.
Congratulations to the Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her 4th in a row win.