Nancy Pelosi Wins House Speaker Role By The Skin Of Her Teeth

( It’s official, unfortunately: Nancy Pelosi will serve yet another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Pelosi narrowly edged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy by a vote of 216-209. It was a mostly ceremonial vote, as the Democrats hold a slight edge over Republicans in the House.

Pelosi has been at the helm leading the Democratic Party in the House since 2003. She was the first woman to be elected as House Speaker and is the only woman to have served in that role.

Upon accepting her post for another two years, Pelosi said:

“We accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced. Our most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus. And defeat it, we will.”

McCarthy was forced to hand the gavel over to Pelosi in a ceremonial moment. But, he didn’t let the opportunity pass without saying some harsh words of his own toward Pelosi and the Democrats.

He said that, over the last two years of her reign, Pelosi led “the least productive Congress in nearly 50 years.” In his comments, he also referenced November’s elections in which Republicans narrowed the gap in the House, despite many predicting that Democrats would add more seats to the party.

McCarthy said of the elections:

“It was a wake-up call. The question I ask of this majority: were you listening?”

Pelosi is hoping to work hand-in-hand with Democrat Joe Biden, who is poised to be inaugurated as president on January 20. This gives Pelosi an ally in the White House for the first time in four years.

Together, the two will likely try to push through a liberal and progressive agenda. How successful they are able to be in those efforts will depend a lot on the outcome of Georgia’s two runoff elections that are happening this week.

Who wins those two seats will ultimately determine which political party has control of the Senate. Democrats need to capture both of those runoff elections to force a 50-50 split in the Senate. They’d ultimately hold control of the upper chamber in that scenario, as the vice president breaks all ties in the Senate.

Whatever the outcome of the Senate control, Pelosi will have a much tougher time pushing through legislation in her chamber. She hasn’t engendered a lot of support among all Democrats, especially the younger and more progressive wing of the party.

Unfortunately for her, that could spell bad news in close votes. All it would take for a proposal to fail is a few Democratic defectors along with the full opposition of House Republicans.

This may force Pelosi, and Biden, to take a more progressive approach to legislative proposals. At the same time, though, this could frighten the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

In all, it sets up a rather interesting two years in the House of Representatives. Here’s to hoping they are the last two with Pelosi at the helm.