Pelosi expected to narrowly win vote to serve as House Speaker for new session

If she wins again, the leader of the House Democrats for the past 17 years will serve her last two in that role.

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When lawmakers return to Washington on Sunday to begin the 2021 legislative session, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to be reelected to her leadership role by a narrow margin. 

Pelosi has served as leader of the House Democrats for 17 years and agreed to a term limit raised by her party in 2018. The next two years will be her last as House speaker, under the Democratic leadership of President Joe Biden. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“She is very aware of the fact that with a slim majority — with some members who voted against her two years ago — there is gonna have to be an effort to persuade them that that was then and this is now,” Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia told CNN. “We cannot afford to have uncertainty about the speakership.”

The Speaker of the House is third in line for the presidency of the United States. The role is instrumental in assigning representatives to valuable committee seats. 

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The vote will take place in person, and Pelosi must receive at least 50 percent of votes cast. 

According to CNN, aides estimate she will have roughly a 10-vote margin to secure her seat. 

The report notes Speaker Pelosi has expressed that her biggest enemy in the pending vote is the coronavirus, which may limit the number of lawmakers who may return to Washington. 

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Earlier this month, popular New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Democratic Party needs new leadership. 

Ocasio-Cortez contended she doesn’t want to be the next speaker, claiming she isn’t ready and “couldn’t do that job.” However, she does want her party to start deliberating and find out who could.

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In an interview with the Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill podcast, Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month “the Speaker has indicated that she may be looking at transitioning and leaving at some point, and the left isn’t really making a plan for that either.”

“So, I do think that it’s something,” she added, “that we really need to think about.”

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