On Wednesday, November 28, Nancy Pelosi learned that she will be a candidate for the House speaker, a decision that will be finalized with a floor vote in January.
The odds looked pretty good for Representative Pelosi. Granted, her sole competitor Representative Marsha Fudge from Ohio dropped out and instead endorsed her, yet Representative Nancy Pelosi still faceed a challenge. Earlier last week, 16 Democrats wrote a letter openly stating how Pelosi is not fit for the position and that change needs to occur to better the country. These changes included a 72-hour mandatory notice before voting on legislation, a speedy process for bipartisan bills to receive support, monthly meetings with first-year representatives, and choosing a specific number of people to be involved in committees. The Democrats within the letter promised to vote accordingly on Wednesday.
There are 435 members in the House. 232 of the seats are held by Democrats, and 218 is the number needed for Representative Pelosi to be elected speaker. Yet, the number of members present and voting in the House on Wednesday is unknown, and while Pelosi won the vote, having trust in Pelosi is a different matter.
Pelosi spoke to 60 Democrats on November 27 Tuesday night, welcoming newcomers and promising to work with the changes requested in the open letter directed to her. Three Democrats have already changed their stance against her after negotiations and further discussing with Pelosi changes.
There is a divide among Democrats however in voting for Representative Pelosi.
Representative Seth Moulton from Massachusetts told the Washington Post that Pelosi was the only candidate running, but when being voted Wednesday, will be shown that Pelosi does not qualify for the vote. Hopefully, Moulton said, another candidate will step forward.
Representative Jahana Hayes from Connecticut also told the Washington Post that if representatives vote against Pelosi, an alternative or candidate must be offered.
Not voting for Pelosi is a mistake. There was no other candidate currently choosing to challenge her, there was no Democrat directly speaking against her and advocating for more change. Representative Seth Moulton who advocated for the letter and against Pelosi softened his stance on her after negotiations and an opening for discussion occurred.
Pelosi may not be the great change that these Democrat leaders want, but she is trying to provide the change they are asking for. This change isn’t just through what she is promising to Democrats, but what Democrats are doing in the House.
The midterm election brought forth many Democrats, so many that it is estimated that as many as 40 Republican seats can be flipped due to the first years. This puts Democrats in the majority, and the most Democrats have received in one year since the 1974 election after the Watergate scandal.
Representative Pelosi in the House is more than her being in power, it maintains that Democrats are in power and asserts that Democrats, for the first time in a long time, can be the majority.