The U.S. House of Representatives voted 216–209 to reelect Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) as the speaker on Jan. 3 to lead the chamber’s narrowest majority in two decades.
Five Democrats defected. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) voted “present.” Two Democrats voted for candidates other than Pelosi. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), while Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted for Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
“In a time marked by historically low trust in government, new voices are necessary to moving forward and achieving real progress,” Spanberger said in a statement. “Last Congress, I kept my promise to vote for new leadership upon my swearing-in – and in this Congress, I remain consistent in my commitment to ushering in new leadership. Accordingly, I did not vote for Speaker Pelosi.”
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) initially didn’t respond when called to vote. Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist who was sworn into Congress earlier the same morning, is a member of the expanding progressive “squad.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the de facto leader of the squad, also was absent from the floor when it came to her turn to vote. Both later voted for Pelosi.
“After telling their constituents they wouldn’t support Pelosi for Speaker last Congress, 5 House Democrats just went back on their promise and handed Pelosi the gavel for two more years of her failed and radical leadership,” the House Republicans said in a statement apparently aimed at the progressive squad. Read more…