Pelosi wins first round: Democrats nominate veteran leader for House speaker

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Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 28, 2018, to announce her nomination by House Democrats to lead them in the new Congress. Ben Ray Lujan, the low-key New Mexico Democrat who helped usher in the majority as chairman of House Democrats' campaign committee.

She will need 218 votes to officially be nominated as speaker.

"I'm proud to be the nominee of the House Democratic caucus once again for speaker of the House", said Pelosi, standing shoulder to shoulder with top Democrats including civil rights icon John Lewis.

Despite initially having an uncertain future in the wake of an election brought forth by a surge of outsider, anti-establishment candidates, opposition to the longtime California Democrat has dwindled and some of the hardline anti-Pelosi Democrats have completely flipped their positions.

Today, Pelosi needs only a majority of the Democratic caucus.

The powerful House speaker sets the chamber's legislative agenda and is second, behind the vice president, in the line of emergency succession to the president. Allowing Republicans to control the House after Democrats' historic midterm wins would be political suicide for those anti-Pelosi Democratic rebels, and thus is unlikely to happen. Pelosi's team actually pushed some freshman Democrats who said they wouldn't support her to vote against Pelosi in the caucus election ― that way they could tell their constituents they had upheld their word to oppose Pelosi. "She faces a preliminary test on Wednesday, when Democrats meet behind closed doors to cast secret ballots for their leaders".

"Are there dissenters? Yes", Ms Pelosi said.

The additional signatures came after one of the members opposing Nancy Pelosi's speaker bid, Massachusetts Rep. The main leaders of the party - Mrs. Pelosi, Rep. Steny Hoyer and Rep. James Clyburn - are all in their 70s and have served as the top-three for over a decade.

Lee is one of the most liberal members of the House who has held a seat since 1998. Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington.

In other House leadership races, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY defeated progressive icon Rep. Barbara Lee of California by a vote of 123-113, to become the next chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Moulton, who stands among the minority of MA representatives opposed to Pelosi's leadership, added that "this has always been bigger than any one individual".

An aide to Pelosi said at the time that discussions were continuing.

Her ideas include setting up more formal mentoring programs for new members and helping with communication plans to make sure these members remain connected to their districts.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., arrives for the House Democrats leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

The way things look right now, Pelosi is well on her way to reclaiming the speakership.

"We have been deputized to be a check and balance on the president", she said.

Meanwhile, anti-Pelosi members like Ryan and Moulton are struggling to keep their coalition together without a viable leader to put forward as an alternative.