Nancy Pelosi re-elected as Speaker of US HoR

Agency, 4 January : Democrats reclaimed power in the House on Thursday and officially elected Nancy Pelosi to be the next speaker, returning her to a position for which she made history as the first woman elected to the office.

The California Democrat earned 220 votes from a total of 430 members present, while Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, won 192.

Pelosi overcame an internal Democratic rebellion from members calling for generational change at the top, among other hurdles, to win the gavel but on Thursday the opposition was nominal. In total, she suffered 15 Democratic defections, mostly from new members who pledged to oppose her during their campaigns and from old foes who have long called for new leadership.

When the tally was announced, Democrats erupted in applause. Several members embraced Pelosi as her grandchildren, who were seated on the chamber floor, bounced up and down with excitement. In reclaiming the gavel, Pelosi, who had previously served as speaker from 2007-2011, became the first former speaker to win re-election since Sam Rayburn in 1955.

She then swore into office the 116th Congress, which includes a record 102 women. The incoming freshman class is the youngest and most racially diverse in history, with a number of outspoken members prepared to take on Donald Trump.

“Our nation is at a historic moment,” Pelosi said in her remarks on the House floor. “Two months ago, the American people spoke and demanded a new dawn.”

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6 months ago

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