Nancy Pelosi Squeaks by in Reelection as House Leader

Hon. Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Pride 2013 by InSapphoWeTrust is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nancy Pelosi squeaked by on Sunday, being reelected as Speaker of the House where the Democrats hold a small majority. Pelosi promised that she and incoming President-elect Joe Biden will do their best to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi faces strong opposition from the GOP and from the progressive base of the Democrat party who consider her to be corporate-controlled and were furious that AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley (“the Squad”) voted for Pelosi for Speaker.

Pelosi: ‘We Accept Responsibility’

“We accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced,” Pelosi said as she accepted the two year term as Speaker, adding that the tragedy of the more than 350,000 Americans who have died from COVID and COVID-related illness will motivate the House to pass legislation to help defeat the virus.

“Our most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus. And defeat it, we will,” Pelosi said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California was not impressed, noting that Pelosi has led “the least productive Congress in nearly 50 years” over the past two years.

The Democrats Don’t Accept Responsibility

The truth is that the Democrats don’t accept responsibility. Despite the massive Republican gains in the House last November the Democrats still say it’s all the GOP’s fault that pandemic aid and other major legislation has been stalled in the House.

From the Democrats’ point of view everything would be perfect if they could just be put in charge. It’s like Pelosi said about Obamacare: you have to pass it to find out what’s in it. And chances are you aren’t going to like what you find one bit.

Pelosi was reelected as House Speaker 216 votes to 209 for McCarthy. The new session of Congress met on Sunday with less members than usual due to the pandemic.

What Do Democrats Plan Next?

Much of the potential power of the Biden administration rests on what happens in the Georgia Senate runoff races. In terms of the House, however, the Democrats will be moving to push forward more aid for the economic recovery from COVID-19. They will also work to fund more efforts to get people vaccinated.

Biden has also emphasized his plan to create “millions” of “green” jobs, and emphasized his focus on environmental protection.

The problem for the Democrats is that with such a small majority in the House it will only take a few “nay” votes to sink almost anything they come up with.

Nancy Pelosi by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

What Comes Next?

Unless Democrats can win both races in Georgia this coming Tuesday they will continue to be a minority in the Senate. The Biden Administration will thus likely face pressure and vetoes from a Republican-controlled Senate and pressure and undermining from the House on anything the Bernie Sanders wing of the party doesn’t like.

This will essentially create a “perfect storm” of pressure from both the right and the left that could completely immobilize Biden’s power to pass meaningful legislation.

As 80-year-old Pelosi continues to face pressure from younger and more left-wing party members and Biden comes into a tense political environment surrounding the controversy and fraud claims over the recent presidential election, things are not nearly as good for the Democrats as their mainstream media allies would have you believe. This should reassure anyone who is worried about their plans for the country since, even if the Democrats do try to enact radical policies they will find stumbling blocks all over the place because of their relative lack of real political power.