Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been formally nominated for a fourth term as Speaker of the House, despite unexpected losses in the last election resulting in a slimmer majority.
Pelosi will serve two more years in her post, after which she has previously committed to retiring her gavel by 2022. She has led the party in the House since 2003, as speaker or minority leader, and is the first speaker since 1955 to loser her gavel and regain it, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite internal strife in 2018 which saw 32 Democrats oppose Pelosi's nomination as speaker, she ran unchallenged for the position this time. House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are also running unopposed, the report adds.
Following her nomination, Pelosi's larger challenge in retaining her speakership will be reaching a simple majority on the floor in January given a narrower majority, however her aides note that many Democrats who opposed her two years ago weren't re-elected. Her allies have pointed to her ability to keep the caucus 'mostly unified' throughout government shutdowns, an impeachment based on a Democrat hoax, and the coronavirus pandemic.
When the House elects its new speaker, Pelosi will need the majority of votes cast by both parties. Since nearly all Republicans are expected to back their leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Pelosi can afford to lose only a few Democrats.
When Pelosi nailed down the support she needed to become speaker in 2018, she said she’d agreed to a proposal limiting her to serving in the job only through 2022. Several lawmakers and aides said memories of that commitment could lessen her opposition this time. -The Detroit News
House Republicans point to the pickup of several seats in the election as evidence that voters are opposed to many Democratic policies and legislation pursued in the current Congress. House GOP plan to leverage the Democrats' narrower majority to create legislative headaches via procedural votes which will put lawmakers facing upcoming election fights in a difficult position.
"In this next Congress we might not be able to schedule the floor, but we are going to run the floor," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Tuesday (via the WSJ).
Democrats, meanwhile, are making the best of the situation.
"I think it's smooth sailing," said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). "We've maintained our majority, but it's slender. But I don't think anybody would be foolish enough to take advantage of the situation."
That said, Pelosi will be battling far-left progressives, which Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) says are "toxic to our brand" as they favor policies which cost jobs. "We can’t continue to talk down to people and only talk about identity politics," he added.