Politics

Pelosi To Have A Hard Time Becoming Speaker, Gop Officials Say

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Republican leaders, gloating at flipping several House seats, took jabs at Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Wednesday for her shrinking majority and cast doubt on her ability to win enough votes to become House Speaker again.

“I mean Nancy Pelosi doesn’t even have a majority where she can be elected speaker again,” Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Wednesday. “Whoever would have guessed that it’d be possible that Nancy Pelosi might not be the speaker?”

Democrats, backed by the consensus of election forecasters, went into Tuesday expecting to expand their majority in the House by flipping more districts that President Trump carried in 2016. Instead of picking up 10 or so new seats, Democrats lost races in places like Florida, Minnesota and Oklahoma and shrunk their overall numbers.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., said the erosion of the Democratic majority could spell trouble for Pelosi getting enough votes to be reelected speaker and predicted she’ll struggle to get her agenda passed.

“I know the vote on the floor is difficult for Speaker. I know there was a number of people who did not vote for her last time,” McCarthy said Wednesday, alluding to Democratic defectors two years ago. “And as our numbers continue to grow, I think at the end of the day, no matter where we end up, we’ll be able to have a very big say, or even run the floor when it comes to policy.”

The House voice vote for speaker requires a majority.  Each Republican typically yells out the name of their party leader — in this case McCarthy — and Democrats announce their vote for Pelosi. With the numbers on their side, the party in power winning the vote is almost a foregone conclusion.

Pelosi has struck deals and maneuvered to squash internal challenges to her leadership before. She overcame defectors in the past, including those from moderate Democrats who had pledged to vote against her if elected. In 2019, there were 15 Democrats who didn’t support her, but she could afford the losses with a bigger majority.

With ballots still being counted, it’s unclear how slim the Democrats’ majority will be heading into January.

Pelosi on Wednesday expressed confidence Joe Biden will be president once the votes are counted and said in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House is ready to work with a Biden Administration on lowering healthcare costs, delivering bigger pa… (Read more)

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