Nancy Pelosi reelected Speaker of the House

Jackson Rickert, Opinions Editor, Columnist

Nancy Pelosi was reelected as Speaker of the House on January 3, 2021. With a narrow victory of 216 votes to 209, Pelosi beat House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to again win the seat. Entering her fourth non-consecutive term as Speaker, Pelosi remains the first woman to ever be chosen for the position.

Her victory comes after a loss for House Democrats in the November election. The Democrats lost multiple seats in the House without picking up any new ones, decreasing the difference between the two parties while maintaining a majority.

Pelosi won all but a handful of democratic votes, with Jared Golden of Maine voting for Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Conor Lamb voting for New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries. Three other democrats answered present, meaning that they are not voting but count as essentially neutral votes, increasing the number of votes needed as compared to if they were to abstain completely. 

Both an experienced congresswoman and Speaker of the House, Pelosi’s victory comes at a time of division and hardship. Now with a slim party majority, Pelosi faces the great challenge of leading a narrowly split House. Among her list of challenges will be leading under a new president, narrowing party lines of the House of Representatives and Senate, pushing forth legislation to fight COVID-19 and working towards other Democratic goals in a time of partisan politics.

Pelosi will also face challenges in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. She, along with other Congress members on both sides of the aisle, was vocal about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. The House of Representatives in now in the works of impeaching after Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th Amendment, and they are currently filing articles of impeachment. This comes just 13 days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Whether or not impeachment is worth the effort this close to inauguration is up for debate.

Pelosi is well known for her work during the Obama Administration. Among other things, she famously helped draft the Affordable Care Act and worked to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.