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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

Sen. Gary Peters picked to lead Democratic Senate fundraising

Sen. Gary Peters. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Democratic Party's Senate fundraising arm on Thursday named Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) as its chair ahead of the 2022 election, with several Republicans already announcing they won't run again, per Politico.

Why it matters: As chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Peters will be tasked with raising the enormous amounts of money Democrats will need to preserve their razor-thin majority, write Axios' Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene.

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday to not impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since spread to several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new variant.