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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrives for her weekly press conference. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was re-elected Wednesday to serve as House Democrats' leader, preserving her role as the key Democratic player in Congress and solidifying her power alongside a future Biden administration.

Why it matters: Pelosi's re-election, which took place remotely via voice vote, sets her up to be re-elected as speaker in January and follows a disappointing election for House Democrats, who lost several seats, undercutting the party's major gains from the 2018 midterms.

  • While it was never a question that she would resume her role as the most powerful woman in Washington given no serious challenger ran against her, many frustrated members of the caucus wanted a change in leadership.
  • Pelosi, who is 80, has been the House Democratic leader since 2002.

Flashback: In 2019, 15 Democrats — all centrists — opposed her ascendancy to Speaker after eight years in the minority.

Other key leadership roles:

  • Both House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) will remain in their positions.
  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) was re-elected as Democratic Caucus chair.
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) beat Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) for assistant speaker.

What's next:

  • Elections for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and committee posts will be held in December.

Go deeper

Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber’s Republican conference even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.