Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one step closer to regaining the top position in the House of Representatives after she won a Democratic Caucus vote held in a closed-door meeting.
As a result of Democrats having won a majority of the seats in the legislative chamber during the November midterm election, the Democratic Caucus excitedly met together to complete its leadership votes and divvy out committees and subcommittee chairmanships. Most importantly, the Democratic Caucus voted for who would lead the chamber in the next session of Congress, in January, the Speaker of the House.
Nancy Pelosi easily won the caucus vote which only required one more than half of the Democratic members, the Daily Caller reports.
The nomination marks a win for Pelosi in the first major step in her bid to reclaim the leadership position when Democrats take back control of the House in January 2019. She needed only half of the Democratic Caucus to vote on her behalf in order to secure the nomination.
Pelosi served as the speaker from 2007 until 2011 — the only woman to ever hold that position. Her return to the speakership position would make her only the seventhindividual to do so on non-consecutive terms.
The caucus vote came amid several members refusing to pledge their support for Pelosi, including more than a dozen new members.
Politico reports the final tally came in as what Pelosi described “a vote of confidence” with 203 yeas, 32 nos, and four non-votes.
Pelosi will still have to pick up roughly 15 votes to get back to the speaker’s chair, although the California Democrat, her allies and aides are increasingly confident she will get there after Wednesday’s meeting of the Democratic Caucus.
Pelosi even appeared to have picked up support after the meeting ended, as Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) — who has been opposed to her — signaled he might back her.
Even before knowing the official results, Pelosi declared it “a vote of confidence” in her leadership, noting repeatedly that no other lawmaker challenged her.
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“Are there dissenters? Yes,” Pelosi said. “But I see this as a powerful vote of confidence.”
The caucus vote went as it was expected to go. Pelosi’s support within establishment Democrats was not in doubt, so obtaining support from half of the Democratic Caucus was easy.
Pelosi will still have to put in the time to convince more than 30 other Democrats to support her in an official vote in front of the entire legislative chamber, including Democrats and Republicans.
From the Washington Examiner:
“Diversity is our strength but our unity is our power,” Pelosi told reporters as votes were being tallied. “I’m very proud, we look forward to there results, whatever they are, they will be intense and they will be a vote of confidence to send my name to the floor and I’m proud to be the nominee of the House Democratic caucus once again for speaker of the House.”
Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for 16 years, is favored to reclaim the speaker’s gavel in January. She’s surgically picked off defectors in the last week who previously vowed to block her speakership and she’s working overtime to persuade more.
According to the report, Pelosi met with three members who are leading the effort to oppose her speakership — Democratic Congressmembers Seth Moulton, Kathleen Rice, and Tim Ryan.
“Moments ago we met with Leader Pelosi and tried to engage her in a reasonable conversation about leadership transition,” Rice said, per the report. “Unfortunately, our concerns were dismissed outright. We remain united behind our goal of new leadership and intend to vote against Leader Pelosi in caucus and on the floor of the House.”
Pelosi needs to win these members over before the official vote on the House floor to regain her post as Speaker of the House.