Pelosi: The Constitution considers me equal to Trump

Newly-elected Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview published on Thursday that the Constitution considers her equal to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE.

When Pelosi was asked whether she considers herself equal to Trump, she said, "The Constitution does,” The New York Times reported.

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Pelosi's position as Speaker makes her the second in line for the presidency should something happen to Trump, after Vice President Pence, according to the Constitution. 

The House on Thursday elected Pelosi as Speaker for the second time in 12 years, a historic return to power for the nation’s first female Speaker. Pelosi's reelection made her the first lawmaker to become Speaker in nonconsecutive Congresses since 1955. 

Pelosi during the Times interview recounted a White House dinner last year during which men spoke over her, which she said prompted her to ask, "Doesn’t anybody listen to a woman in the room?"

“Hopefully that will become a thing of the past now that we have so many women in Congress — and with the gavel,” Pelosi told the Times. “The gavel makes a big difference.”  

The 116th Congress has the most women in history, with 102 in the House and 23 in the Senate. When Pelosi joined the House in 1987, there were 23 women total, the Times noted.

She won the Speakership on Thursday in a 220-192 vote over House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). 

Her bid for the gavel was disrupted briefly toward the end of last year by critics in her own party, which included both freshman and incumbent members of the 116th Congress. 

"I’m used to, shall we say, enthusiasms from all elements of the party — I can roll with that,” Pelosi told the Times of the conflict, which she quelled in part by agreeing to limit her new Speakership to a maximum of four more years. 

Twelve Democrats voted for candidates other than Pelosi and six Republicans voted against McCarthy.

“Our nation is at an historic moment,” Pelosi said in remarks disseminated to reporters. “Two months ago, the American people spoke and demanded a new dawn.”

Democrats now hold a 235-199 majority in the House, while the GOP holds a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, making the 116th Congress the first divided Congress since 2015.