House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has formally announced that she is seeking to retain the speakership in the next Congress. But she just got some bad news in that regard.
As a matter of simple math, Pelosi is close to not having enough votes to retain the House’s top leadership position, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explained in a recent interview with Fox News.
Only 10 votes
McCarthy broke down Pelosi’s situation during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures.
“To become speaker, you have to have 218 votes on the floor,” McCarthy told host Maria Bartiromo, according to Fox. “When she went up for that vote two years ago, there were 15 Democrats who voted against her. Ten of those Democrats will be coming back to Congress. If those 10 vote against her again, she will not be speaker of the House.”
The key here, according to McCarthy, are the gains made by House Republicans in the 2020 election. Thus far, Republicans have taken seven seats away from the Democrats, and there could be more to come.
This means the Democrats are going to have a much narrower majority than they have had over the past two years.
Not only will this make it more difficult for Democrats to advance their agenda in the House, but, as McCarthy explained, it will be a tough battle for Pelosi to keep the speakership, because she has less flexibility this time around.
An uphill battle
Pelosi has another problem: the lackluster result in the House in the 2020 election has led to infighting among House Democrats.
There is a clear division in the Democratic Party between the moderates and the progressives. The moderates believe that it is the fault of the progressives’ radical policy proposals that the Democrats failed to achieve their expected “blue wave” in the election.
As the leader of the House, Pelosi also shares some of the blame. But she isn’t having it. “We did not win every battle but we did win the war,” she claimed, according to the Associated Press.
It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle for Pelosi to retain the speakership. At this point, it would almost be surprising if Pelosi were still in the position come January.