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Democrats nominate Pelosi to keep Speakership

House Democrats on Wednesday nominated Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) to remain atop the party for another two years, brushing aside some internal grousing about a disappointing election performance in a vote demonstrating an overwhelming confidence in their long-time leader.

The nomination was secured by voice vote during a process conducted remotely as a health precaution amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

That marks a stark contrast to the secret election of two years ago, when 32 Democrats had opposed Pelosi amid a rebellion from a group of restive moderates ready for a changing of the guard after nearly two decades under Pelosi’s reign.

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The erosion of defectors reflects the support she’s since earned from a number of those earlier critics; the losses Democrats suffered at the polls earlier in the month, when four moderate Democrats who had opposed Pelosi’s Speakership bid on the House floor were picked off by GOP challengers; and the ascension of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE, whose victory over President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE has tempered some of the party’s frustrations for losses down the ballot.

The outcome was never in doubt: Pelosi ran unopposed, and her dealings with Trump over the last two years have won the praise of even her sharpest Democratic critics.

Still, a small group of moderate lawmakers had pressed for a leadership overhaul after the party’s high expectations for expanding their majority at the polls this month were dashed when the results came in.

In a speech accepting the nomination, Pelosi vowed to work with the Biden administration to tackle a host of issues Democrats had promised on the campaign trail, including expanding access to health care, strengthening environmental protections, reforming police practices and bridging the vast racial disparities in economic well-being.

"The theme, I think, of what we do next has to be about justice," she told the caucus.

To secure the gavel, Pelosi will still need to secure a majority of the full House in January. Fifteen Democrats had opposed her in that public floor vote in 2019, and at least 10 of them are returning in the 117th Congress — a figure significant enough to block her path, given the party’s slimmer majority next year.

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Yet Pelosi has already won the support of several of those defectors, and she’s expected to rally enough votes to win the gavel for another term, when Democrats are hoping to advance an ambitious legislative slate under a Biden administration.

The caucus on Wednesday also reelected Pelosi’s top lieutenants, Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts In the final chapter of 2020, we must recommit to repairing our democracy Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed MORE (D-S.C.), who is credited with helping Biden win the Palmetto State and the party’s nomination that put the former vice president on a path to the White House. Hoyer and Clyburn ran unopposed.

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.), viewed among Democrats as the heir apparent to Pelosi, also ran unopposed and won a second term as House Democratic Caucus chairman, putting him in prime position to climb the leadership ladder once the old guard — Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn — steps aside.

Some centrist Democrats had tried to draft Jeffries to challenge Pelosi for Speaker, but the Brooklyn native and Pelosi loyalist didn’t entertain the idea.

The biggest contested race was for assistant Speaker. Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last MORE (D-Mass.), the caucus vice chair, defeated Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-R.I.), the head of the Democrats’ policy and messaging arm, on a 135 to 92 vote. Clark will succeed Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who just won election to the Senate.

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The other competitive race that will be decided this week is for caucus vice chair. That contest pits Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Democrats nominate Pelosi to keep Speakership MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, against Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Lawmakers push for improved diabetes care through tech advancements Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (D-Ill.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The race for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair has been postponed until the week after Thanksgiving to give the candidates, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), more time to campaign and lock down votes.

The Democrats’ campaigns chief for the 2020 cycle, Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' MORE (D-Ill.), decided not to seek a second term after nearly a dozen of her vulnerable front-line members she was tasked with protecting lost reelection and her party failed to unseat a single GOP incumbent.

Updated at 1:33 p.m.