Democrats tap Pelosi for speaker
WASHINGTON—In a closed caucus session Wednesday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won her party’s nomination for speaker of the House of Representatives for the next congressional session. Democrats voted 203-32 for Pelosi, who ran unopposed. She called her selection “a vote of confidence,” but the 78-year-old will probably have to flip 15 votes to secure the seat on Jan. 3 since the entire House will vote on her nomination. Pelosi previously served as speaker from 2007 to 2011.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., won the position of House majority leader, while Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., earned the role of majority whip. Both ran unopposed and will step back into positions they filled the last time Democrats held the House majority. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico was chosen as assistant Democratic leader, the No. 4 position, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York defeated Rep. Barbara Lee of California to serve as the next chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
In 2016, 63 Democrats voted for Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, over Pelosi for minority leader. She still faces some determined criticism, though it has waned as the session approaches. Pelosi met with three of her critics on Wednesday to gather more support. Democratic Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Kathleen Rice of New York, and Ryan, who are pushing for fresh faces in leadership, wanted Pelosi to forecast when she would transition out of the speaker’s role in exchange for support. She refused to say.
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