WASHINGTON – Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday nominated Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, leading a diminished and ideologically divided majority with whom she will try to turn Joe Biden’s plans into law.
Scattered across the country, Democrats elected Californian Pelosi to remain in office for two more years, in her first virtual election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Majority bloc leader Steny Hoyer and number three Jim Clyburn would also retain their posts.
“Let’s all be promoters of unity in the Democratic Party, where our values are opportunity and community,” Pelosi wrote to Democrats days ago. She is the first woman to chair the chamber.
Five of the seven Democrats who had planned to make speeches in support of her candidacy were women, including Congressman-elect Nikema Williams, winner of the Atlanta, Georgia area district, represented by civil rights champion John Lewis, until her death in July.
The full House will formally elect its president when it meets in early January, shortly before the presidential inauguration.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives praised the efforts of the campaign committee.
Pelosi has earned great prestige among Democrats as an opponent of President Donald Trump in the battles over impeachment, immigration and public health. She has replied to every insult, even face to face, from the Republican president who calls her “crazy Nancy.”
But a dozen Democratic lawmakers were defeated in the election, shattering expectations of a majority majority and a blow to party morale.
Short of counting a few votes, Democrats would have a majority of 222-213, the narrowest margin in decades.
The president blamed the Democratic leader for the lack of a second aid package that includes checks.
The progressives say that the party did not know how to win the votes of the minorities and of the youth who tend to the left.
The moderates say they were hurt by initiatives on the left such as cutting police budgets and that Pelosi should have agreed to a stimulus package with the White House before the election.
In addition to bitterness over the electoral setback, many Democrats say it is time for a new leadership. Pelosi and Hoyer have ranked first and second on the Democratic bloc since 2003, while Clyburn rose to third in 2007. Pelosi and Clyburn are 80, Hoyer 81.
If elected, Pelosi would preside over the House for the seventh and eighth years. He served the first four in the 2000s until Republicans won a majority in the 2010 Tea Party election, a right-wing insurrection that heralded Trump’s rise.