Jan 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Nancy Pelosi narrowly wins another term as Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelosi.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was reelected as Speaker of the House at the start of the new session of Congress on Sunday.

Why it matters: Pelosi had little wiggle room to lose votes from members of her party, as absences from the coronavirus pandemic complicated the matter. She needed the majority of votes from lawmakers present in the chamber.

  • In a Dear Colleague letter to her fellow Democrats before the vote Sunday, Pelosi wrote that she was "confident that the Speaker’s election today will show a united Democratic Caucus ..."

Pelosi, 80, was the House Speaker between 2007 and 2011, when Democrats had the majority in the House, and again since 2019. She has served in Congress since 1987 and has lead Democrat in the House since 2003.

  • She is the first and only woman to serve as Speaker.

Flashback: Pelosi faced the greatest challenge to her speakership in 2019, when 15 Democrats — all centrists — opposed her ascendancy to the role after eight years in the minority.

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