Inside Nancy Pelosi’s battle for House Speaker: What to know about the vote and position


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When Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the U.S. Home of Representatives in 2007, she turned the primary girl to ever serve in that position. And with Democrats regaining the bulk in Congress after the midterm elections, she’s hoping to return to her previous job.

Whether or not or to not vote for Pelosi, 78, is a query reverberating on Capitol Hill – particularly amongst incoming Democratic lawmakers.

Pelosi’s supporters argue her management as a talented strategist and tireless fundraiser is required to fight Republicans and President Trump. However her detractors say it’s time for a change and a brand new technology of steerage.

It wouldn’t be uncommon for Pelosi to take again the position – loads of previous Audio system served within the place at numerous nonconsecutive factors of their political careers.

Right here’s a take a look at what Pelosi must do to safe the job – and the opposition that has already mounted in opposition to her.

What’s the position?

The Speaker is in command of three sorts of duties – institutional, consultant and social gathering chief – in response to the Workplace of the Clerk of the U.S. Home.

  • Institutional: The Speaker acts because the presiding officer and administration head of the Home.
  • Consultant: The Speaker acts as an elected member of the Home.
  • Celebration Chief: The Speaker acts because the chief of the bulk social gathering within the Home.

The Speaker is tasked with nominating chairs and members for the Guidelines Committee and Home Administration Committee. She or he additionally appoints audio system professional tempore and members for joint Home and Senate convention committees.

The Speaker can even act as a liaison to the president and the Senate.


Moreover, the Home Speaker is in line after the vice chairman to succeed the president if vital.

Didn’t she do that earlier than?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was the primary girl to function Home Speaker.
(AP Photograph/Susan Walsh)

She did – and was the primary girl to carry the place when she was elected in 2007.

Pelosi has served in Congress since 1987. She was the Speaker from 2007 to 2011. Presently, Pelosi is the Home Minority Chief, a place she’s held since 2011.

What number of votes does she want?

Article 1, Part 2 of the Structure offers Congress the flexibility to pick their very own Speaker. It doesn’t, nonetheless, mandate that the Speaker needs to be a member of Congress – though traditionally that has been the case.

When the brand new Congress convenes in January – with Democrats within the majority – members will maintain a vote on the following Speaker. Every social gathering will be capable to nominate a candidate, and lawmakers will solid their votes by a roll name vote, the Workplace of the Clerk explains.

To get the gavel, Pelosi would first want to select up a majority of the Democratic Caucus in inner management elections, then go on to win an “absolute majority” of votes solid on the Home flooring.


If simply 17 Democrats vote in opposition to Pelosi on the ground, she wouldn’t have the votes – at the least from her social gathering – to safe the management put up.

The roll name vote is repeated till somebody receives a majority.

The longest election for Speaker lasted two months and took 133 ballots in 1856, in response to the U.S. Home archives. Then, Rep. Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts emerged victorious.

Who’s opposing her?

Multiple Democrats have already said they do not support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, including 16 who signed onto a letter calling for a leadership change.

A number of Democrats have already mentioned they don’t help Nancy Pelosi for Home Speaker, together with 16 who signed onto a letter calling for a management change.
(AP Photograph/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pelosi faces opposition from a number of in her personal social gathering in her bid for Speaker. Earlier this week, 16 Home Democrats circulated a letter calling for “new management” and promising to vote in opposition to her.

“We’re grateful to Chief Pelosi for her years of service to our Nation and to our Caucus. She is a historic determine whose management has been instrumental to a few of our social gathering’s most vital legislative achievements,” the letter from each incumbent and newly elected Democrats learn. “Nonetheless, we additionally acknowledge that on this current election, Democrats ran and received on a message of change.”

Amongst those that signed onto the letter are Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Linda Sanchez of California. A number of incoming lawmakers, together with Reps.-elect Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Ben McAdams of Utah, additionally signed the letter.


There are different freshmen Democrats who’ve promised to not again Pelosi however didn’t signal the letter.

Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge was contemplating a bid to problem Pelosi for the job, however she in the end determined to again her California colleague. Pelosi named Fudge the incoming chairman of a revived elections subcommittee. The panel will delve into voting rights points which might be a precedence for Fudge and the brand new Democratic majority.

Has Trump weighed in?

Trump has tweeted a number of instances his supposed help for Pelosi for Speaker.

“In all equity, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the Home by the Democrats. If they offer her a tough time, maybe we’ll add some Republican votes,” Trump said on Nov. 7. “She has earned this nice honor!”

“I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she desires to ensure that her to be Speaker of the Home. She deserves this victory, she has earned it – however there are these in her social gathering who’re attempting to take it away. She’s going to win!” Trump said again on Nov. 17.

The president not too long ago instructed reporters: “I like her. Are you able to imagine it? She’s robust and he or she’s sensible, however she deserves to be Speaker.”

Former President Barack Obama additionally praised Pelosi’s “ability, tenacity, toughness [and] imaginative and prescient” in current days.

Fox Information’ Brooke Singman and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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