Pelosi faces tough path to speakership with slim majority, some Democrats defecting

Not only did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lose a number of blue seats in the House in the 2020 election, but she now also has to worry about her future as one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C.

According to Politico, Pelosi just got some bad news about the upcoming vote for the speakership, as two incoming progressive House Democrats recently declined to say whether they would cast their vote in favor of Pelosi retaining the coveted House gavel. 

Pelosi and her fellow Dems will begin the new session of Congress with the slimmest party majority in the lower chamber in modern American history.

Deflecting Democrats

Complicating matters further, during CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Reps.-elect Cori Bush (D-MO) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) clearly deflected when asked whether or not they would cast their votes in favor of Pelosi serving another term as House speaker.

When Bush was asked about her support for Pelosi, she indicated that she would make her decision based on whether her constituents in St. Louis, Missouri get “what we need.”

“I am going to make sure that voices of the people of St. Louis are heard and we have what we need. And so you will find out then,” Bush said, according to the New York Post.

Bowman, who defeated New York Rep. Eliot Engel in the primaries to eventually emerge victorious in the fight to represent New York’s 16th congressional district, provided a similar response as to whether or not he would pledge his support for Pelosi.

“You will find out when my vote is tallied and, again, organizing with our community to figure out what’s best,” Bowman said, as Politico reported.

Pelosi in trouble

News that support from the incoming lawmakers is shaky at best poses a very real problem for Pelosi, who saw 15 Democrat detractors the last time the party voted on who would take the helm in 2018. At that point, Pelosi had quite a bit of “insurance” as Democrats had strong majority control of the House.

This year, however, Pelosi holds a razor-thin majority with fading support from both the progressive and moderate wings of the party. She can’t afford to lose more than a handful of votes this time around.

According to the New York Post, the situation for Pelosi could be even more dire, given that House members must be present on the House floor to vote for the Speaker. With a renewed wave of COVID-19 infections sweeping the country, if several Democrats are missing on the day of the vote, it could mean Pelosi goes down in flames and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wins the coveted position.

A number of other Democratic lawmakers have already pledged not to support the 80-year-old speaker, including Reps. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Jared Golden (D-MN), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), according to reports.

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