After an underwhelming showing in last month’s election, House Democrats are set to hold a razor-thin majority in the chamber during the upcoming congressional session.
Nevertheless, one former Democratic lawmaker is confident that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is so “masterful” at politicking that she will have no issue pushing through a robust, progressive agenda under the prospective administration of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“You know how she works”
Former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) revealed her prediction during a recent MSNBC interview.
After pointing out that the House speaker would be working within strict boundaries with just a handful of lawmakers giving her party control of the lower chamber, anchor Kasie Hunt asked her guest how Pelosi would be able to appease both the moderate and progressive wings of the party.
“You have seen her behind the scenes,” Hunt said. “You know how she works. How do you think she’s going to handle that? How is she going to keep her people together in the face of potentially a lot of frustration from some of her members?”
The ex-lawmaker did not hesitate in stressing that this will not be Pelosi’s first rodeo, describing the 80-year-old leader as fully capable of navigating the political landscape.
“I think as a leader and as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is masterful in knowing the temperature and taking the temperature of her caucus,” Edwards said. “I think that we will see that come 2021.”
“A good, clean start”
Describing Pelosi’s “major job” over the next two years, Edwards predicted that Pelosi would be effective in ensuring “that the Biden agenda gets a good, clean start in the House of Representatives to send over to the Senate.”
She went on to suggest that bills brought to the House floor would be subjected to negotiations that put the Democratic Party agenda in a favorable position.
While Pelosi’s partisan credentials are acknowledged by allies and rivals alike, her path to another term as House speaker is not yet guaranteed.
As The Hill noted, she barely eked out a win in 2018, with 15 Democrats voting to hand someone else the gavel. If past is prologue, she could be in trouble when an even smaller Democratic majority votes to name the next speaker.
Amid an ongoing pandemic, Pelosi could face another obstacle if lawmakers are absent from the House floor when the votes are cast since proxy or virtual votes will not be counted. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) warned that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could emerge victorious if as few as six to eight Democrats are absent and all Republicans are present.