Nancy Pelosi won her fourth term as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi, who has led her party since 2003, won by a 216-109 vote. With little margin for error, Pelosi suffered only a handful of Democratic defections in her latest display of her ability to line up support, and no opponent challenged her for the job.
Two Democrats — Jared Golden of Maine and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania — cast votes for Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, respectively. Three Democratic House members voted “present.” Notably, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of “The Squad” backed Pelosi in her bid for the speakership.
“It gives me great pride to serve as speaker to the most diverse House in American history, with a record-shattering 122 women,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi, who is the only woman to have ever served as House Speaker, says that the chamber’s biggest priority is overcoming the coronavirus and giving recognition to essential workers.
“They make our lives possible at the state and local level, and will facilitate the distribution of the vaccine. We owe them more,” Pelosi said. “Many of our essential workers are from communities of color and low-wealth communities which have been devastatingly and disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. They have been there for us, and we must be there for them.”
The speaker also thinks that justice should be a priority.
“Indeed, the pandemic has pulled back the curtain on even worsened disparities in our economy and our society. We must pursue justice: economic justice, justice in health, racial justice, environmental and climate justice.”
Democrats will start the 117th Congress with 222 members, just four over the 218 threshold needed for a majority, with one race in New York still undecided.