WASHINGTON: There’s little doubt Nancy Pelosi he will be re-elected Speaker of the House when the new Congress meets on Sunday. It may take some very good action to get there, largely due to the pandemic.
The only woman in history to serve as a speaker, the Democrat from California has a reputation as a formidable vote-counter and understanding. These skills have helped her avoid threats and strengthen her as the leader of her party in the House since 2003, and appear to be able to carry on January 3, when the Constitution requires the start of the new Congress.
“Yes, yes,” Pelosi told a reporter this week when asked if his votes were over.
What seemed like a sign of confidence, Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, will be sworn in, even though Democratic opposition leader Rita Hart’s challenge to the election results remains under scrutiny by the House. Miller-Meeks is sure he will vote against Pelosi for speaking.
Even so, the terrain on which Pelosi faces will allow almost no margin for error.
The plenary elects the president, and Democrats will have the smallest majority in the House in 20 years, in a vote in which Republicans will vote unanimously against it, joined by Democratic deserters. Democrats will have a 222-211 advantage, with a still undecided race and a vacant post after the elected deputy Luke Letlow, R-La., Died on Tuesday after fighting Covid-19.
The furious coronavirus pandemic, combined with routine illness and the usual risks of winter travel, could make the presence unpredictable for the first home call in the months when lawmakers will have to attend in person. To avoid the risks of exposure to Covid-19, the House changed its rules this year to allow its members to vote by proxy from their homes, but this change is dying with the old Congress.
“I’m fine,” Pelosi said when asked if COVID-19 absences are a concern.
The election of the speaker, in which members traditionally vote verbally in alphabetical order, was long the first vote taken by the new House. Due to COVID-19 concerns, lawmakers will vote in groups in a roll call that will last between three and four hours.
“It’s extraordinarily complicated for Pelosi,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., An 18-year congressional veteran. However, he said she expects it to prevail “because I don’t see what the alternative is” for Democrats.
To make sure they are at their best, leaders on both sides are urging lawmakers to take health measures and return to Washington well in advance of Sunday to avoid travel obstacles.
In this week’s memoirs, Congressional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Monahan and Gun Sergeant Paul Irving told members of the House that any guests, including family, will need to meet local Columbia District requirements for COVID-19 testing.
On a day when the families and friends of the members normally swarm all over the Chapter, the newlyweds of the House will be allowed to have only one guest each in the gallery of the room to watch them take their oath. Returning members will not be allowed to have guests in the gallery.
An e-mail from Monahan distributed to lawmakers on Wednesday described instructions for testing, quarantine and wearing a mask. He said the members ‘relatives’ trip to Washington “is very likely to involve significant hardship and risk of exposure to diseases that are best avoided.”
The top Democrats checked the availability of parliamentarians who had serious health problems. McGovern says Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, 84, who is battling pancreatic cancer, told him she intends to participate. Representative. Mark DeSaulnierD-California, who nearly died of pneumonia after falling while running in March and has been recovering since then, says he told Pelosi he would return to the Capitol for the opening day.
“I’m planning to come back because that’s my job,” said DeSaulnier, 68.
Pelosi retains the support of the majority of Democrats, who venerate her for leading the 2018 takeover of the House and their fights against President Donald Trump. She kept her party moderators and progressives largely united and raised a lot of money in the campaign.
But at 80, about the same age as the first two lieutenants, Pelosi remains a source of frustration for younger Democrats eager to rise in the leadership chain. Dissatisfaction and division escalated after gains expected in last month’s election evaporated and 12 Democrats lost seats in the House, prompting calls for fresh messengers in response to criticism that party leaders did a poor job in the campaign against the problems. deep economic growth of the country.
No democratic rival of Pelosi appeared, greatly diminishing the chances of being overthrown. Perhaps unanimously, Republicans will support Rep. Kevin McCarthy from California as a speaker, but seems destined to become a minority leader again.
Even so, Pelosi must keep to a minimum the number of Democrats who oppose him.
Of the 15 Democrats who defeated her when she was elected president in January 2019, three lost the election again last month. One is in a race where votes are still being counted, and another has become a Republican.
That leaves 10 Democrats who opposed it two years ago. Of these, Rep. Washington Kurt Schrader he said he was now open to supporting her and at least two others said they would do so, Jason Crow of Colorado and Jim Cooper of Tennessee.
“She led a controversial democratic caucus well during the pandemic and the Trump presidency,” Cooper said.
It is not known how many of the 15 Democratic mayors could oppose Pelosi.
Some suggest that the small number could encourage Pelosi’s democratic critics to force the vote in a rare secondary round, when they could eventually win, but may be forced to make promises about the bills they will pass. would consider the House or other concessions. People who mention this scenario insisted on anonymity to describe the conversations behind the scenes.
Voting for the speaker required several votes only 14 times, including in 1923, the only time since the Civil War.