Update: As expected, Democrats elect Steny Hoyer, 79, as Majority Leader and Jim Clyburn,78, Majority Whip. Both ran with Pelosi, her #2 & #3 in leadership. Neither faced opposition.
As expected, after weeks of horse-trading and skillful elimination of rivals, Nancy Pelosi has made the first of two hurdles to become Speaker of the House for the third time. She is now voted as the House Democrats’ nominee for Speaker. The vote was Pelosi 203, No votes 32, 3 blanks and one member was absent.
The next hurdle is the full House vote January 3, when the new Congress is seated. She will need 218 votes to secure the gavel, assuming that all members are present and voting. There is still opposition to her leadership, and support for Pelosi from some House Republicans, and now the game becomes a bit more complex because Republicans will be voting too.
Pelosi has been House Democratic Leader for 14 years, both as Speaker (2 terms) when her party was in majority, and as Minority Leader when the Republicans held the House. Barbara Lee, who some members were trying to recruit to run against Pelosi, decided instead to continue her campaign for House Caucus chair. She lost that vote this morning to Hakeem Jeffries, who will now have the #5 slot in House leadership.