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Nancy Pelosi voted speaker nominee by Democrats

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a news conference following the 2018 midterm elections at the Capitol Building on November 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Republicans kept the Senate majority but lost control of the House to the Democrats. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
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Gibson/Getty Images


  • Nancy Pelosi won the caucus vote to become the next speaker
    of the House on Wednesday, but still faces a more difficult
    challenge to gain the necessary 218 votes on the House floor this
    coming January.
  • Pelosi gained considerable ground compared to her last
    election to serve as Democratic leader, but still does not have a
    challenger from within the Democratic Caucus.
  • The group of Democrats opposed to her remain adamant they
    want new leadership and will continue to challenge Pelosi.

WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi secured enough votes to win the
caucus vote to become the next speaker of the House on Wednesday.
But she still needs to gain some ground if she wants to make it
official when the vote goes to the House floor in January.

Pelosi won an overwhelming majority of votes from the
Democratic caucus:

  • 203 voted for her.
  • 32 voted against her.
  • Three left their ballots blank, and there was one
    absence.

For context, Pelosi had 63 Democrats voting against her for
the minority leader position in 2016 when Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
challenged her in the aftermath of the 2016 election. But on
Wednesday, she ran unopposed, with a handful of Democrats still
seeking an alternative by the time January comes around.



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Democratic opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker of
the House has virtually collapsed

Through cutting deals and awarding coveted committee
positions, Pelosi has managed to shore up supporters in the weeks
following the 2018 midterm elections, in which Democrats took
back the House majority that had eluded them for the past eight
years.

While a record number of incoming Democrats had campaigned
on their opposition to or skepticism of Pelosi, she has roped in
several, all while avoiding a challenger from
arising. 

Moments before the vote, Pelosi announced a deal with
Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus, proposing a slew of
rules changes. Days before, Pelosi handed out a subcommittee
chairmanship to Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who was previously
mulling a challenge for the speakership.

Pelosi also flipped New York Rep. Brian Higgins into
supporting her speaker bid, despite him signing a letter
alongside 15 other Democrats stating their opposition to her
leadership.

Outside the their Wednesday morning caucus meeting, Higgins
told reporters the leadership fight has been largely good for
Democrats, but called it a “sloppy mess” for members to express
themselves.

“Everyone has one legislative tool and that’s their vote,”
he said. “And finding a way to use that legislative tool in a way
that maximizes its effectiveness I think is a good thing.”

Pelosi met with her detractors, who left angry and
unsatisfied

And just before the caucus meeting on Wednesday, Pelosi met
privately with the three Democrats leading the charge against
her: Reps. Kathleen Rice, Tim Ryan, and Seth Moulton.

That meeting did not go well, with those insurgent
Democrats leaving frustrated and shut down.

“Moments ago we met with Leader Pelosi and tried to engage
her in a reasonable conversation about leadership transition,”
Rice said in a statement after the meeting. “Unfortunately, our
concerns were dismissed outright. We remain united behind our
goal of new leadership and intend to vote against Leader Pelosi
in Caucus and on the Floor of the House.”

Moulton expressed his frustration with leadership and the
poor results of the meeting in a statement, slamming Pelosi for
not following through on past commitments.

“The private sector, non-profit organizations, even the
Republican Party, have been able to have the difficult
conversations about what a plan for succession looks like. No one
wants to see this civil conversation to spill into a floor
fight,” Moulton said. “Right now, Leader Pelosi will not have the
218 votes necessary to become Speaker.”

And while Pelosi has gained a lot of ground through
old-fashioned Washington dealmaking, she still needs more support
in the next month — and has to hope a challenger does not arise
that could sap more votes from Democrats just looking for another
option, of which there are several.

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