Democrats nominate Pelosi to keep Speakership

House Democrats on Wednesday nominated Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Top Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Progressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks 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.


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 State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE, whose victory over President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' 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.


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 HoyerHouse Democrats introduce bill providing citizenship to Dreamers On The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief MORE (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnHouse Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal Clyburn reintroduces legislation to close 'Charleston loophole' Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress 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 JeffriesXi'an Famous Foods CEO warns of anti-Asian hate crimes in NYC Democrats snipe on policy, GOP brawls over Trump Harris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members 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 ClarkPelosi says House will move immediately on COVID-19 relief Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Sanders defends push to impeach Trump: Insurrection won't be tolerated MORE (D-Mass.), the caucus vice chair, defeated Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineHouse passes sweeping protections for LGBTQ people The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J A-OK, Tanden in Trouble Six ways to visualize a divided America 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.


The other competitive race that will be decided this week is for caucus vice chair. That contest pits Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarPartisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission AOC v. Pelosi: Round 12? Maloney to lead Democrats' campaign arm MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, against Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyLawmakers emphasize prioritizing patients' needs in health care policy The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats ready mammoth relief bill for 10-day sprint Overnight Health Care: Biden officials announce funding to track virus variants | Senate Dems unveil public option proposal | White House: Teacher vaccinations not required for schools to reopen 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 BustosHouse Republican campaign arm rolls out target list for midterms Lobbying world Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote 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.