Nancy Pelosi has been reluctant to urge her caucus back to Washington to pass important legislation, preferring to let them take endless weeks off so they can avoid spreading coronavirus throughout the capital. But now that there’s something REALLY important to worry about, she’s suddenly desperate to make sure her supporters are in their seats starting January 3rd. Why? What’s so important that COVID is no longer a major concern? Well, that’s the day that the House will vote to decide who will be the Speaker for the next two years.
“Pelosi is fine with House Democrats skipping work if the votes are about legislation, but in January she will demand every Democrat show up—in person—to vote for her for Speaker,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “Her message is clear: her power is more important than anything else.”
According to Politico, Pelosi has been working the phones to make sure that her voters will be back in Washington for the start of the new session.
“Pelosi and her allies have been ratcheting up their lobbying campaign in recent weeks to ensure House Democrats are in the Capitol that first Sunday in January,” the outlet reported. “Pelosi has had help from her top deputies, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), according to several sources familiar with the effort. She and her supporters have also deployed former Obama administration alumni and big donors to help squeeze undecided Democrats, in addition to influential politicians and labor leaders in lawmakers’ home states.”
Pelosi is the favorite to win the Speakership again, but it’s far from a done deal. Not only will the Democrats have a very narrow lead in their majority (222-212), but there are a few progressives who are looking for fresh blood at the top. Only three have gone on record to say they will vote against her, but a number of others have said they will only vote “present.” And if some Democrats elect to stay home for the new session, it’s going to put Pelosi in a major jam – potentially even handing the Speakership to a Republican!
Have to say, that would be so satisfying that it would almost make us feel better about what happened in the election.