- In her victory speech, the 80 year-old Speaker said the main challenge of her mandate will be to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to rebuild the country’s economy.
- Speaker Pelosi garnered 219 votes in favor and 206 against.
- The US Congress meets on Wednesday, in a joint session, for the vote-counting ceremony.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was re-elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday, albeit narrowly. Speaker Pelosi narrowly secured the position after having been deserted by five Democrats who supported someone else. All Republicans, however, voted for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
In her victory speech, the 80 year-old Speaker said the main challenge of her mandate will be to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to rebuild the country’s economy.
“As we are sworn in today, we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced. We begin the new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty,” Pelosi said in her victory speech. “Our most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus. And defeat it, we will.”
Speaker Pelosi garnered 219 votes in favor and 206 against. The House swore in 222 Democrats and 212 Republicans Republicans Sunday, with one vacancy. She thus maintains the position that places her third in line to the presidency, behind only the Vice President.
The Democrat, who had already served in the position between 2007 and 2011, faced no opponents from her party. Nonetheless, five members from her party refused to support her re-election.
In order to win the majority in the upper house of Congress, the Senate— and to have a clear path to pass legislation and reforms without the risk of a Republican blockade– Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock must defeat Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, in Georgia, a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator in 20 years.
The vote for Speaker took place the same day that an audio recording of Donald Trump, asking the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” the votes needed to reverse the vote in this state, were revealed by The Washington Post. Joe Biden was certified as the winner in Georgia, and the presidential election.
President Trump called the person responsible for certifying election results in that state on Saturday and confronted him with numerous conspiracy theories, threatening him with criminal charges with no apparent basis.
“You know what they did, and you’re not reporting it,” President Trump said on the call. “That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense, and you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to . . . your lawyer. That’s a big risk.”
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” President Trump says, according to audio of the call. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
The US Congress meets on Wednesday, in a joint session, for the vote-counting ceremony. The ceremony is often a formality, but the President’s insistence on calling into question the results of the elections, and the desire of some Republican Party figures to remain relevant as potential presidential candidates in 2024, is likely to lead to work interruptions.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn in as President on January 20.