November 28, 2021

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Lacking an Alternative, House Dems Tap Pelosi to Stand for Speaker

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a briefing to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 10, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

House Democrats nominated Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to another term as House Speaker on Wednesday, with no other representative competing for the post, and she must now prevail in a floor vote in January to officially retain the gavel.

Pelosi has served as House Speaker from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to the present. Democrats also nominated House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina to additional terms.

The nomination comes after Democrats lost a string of House seats, which has considerably thinned the party’s majority. Republicans stand to gain as many as 13 seats once election results are finalized, after Democrats had expected to expand their majority even further.

The Speaker needs to win 218 votes from her dwindling caucus to be reelected in January.

Representative Elissa Slotkin (D., Mich.), a moderate whose district voted for President Trump in 2016 and 2020, has already vowed not to support another term for Pelosi.

“I have no idea if people are gonna run against her, or who might run against her,” Slotkin told Politico last week. “And I will of course have this conversation directly with her. But I believe we need new leadership.”

Pelosi will still be able to draw on deep support within her party.

“Nancy Pelosi is a legendary speaker. One of the best who’s ever done it, ever, in the history of the republic. She certainly has my strong support,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) told reporters on Wednesday.

After Democrats retook the House majority in 2019, Pelosi oversaw the impeachment inquiry into President Trump as well as negotiations for coronavirus relief, with the latter stalled since the summer. The Speaker has raised the ire of progressive Democrats with her support of more centrist candidates within the party and has angered moderates by refusing to compromise with the administration and congressional Republicans on COVID relief.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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