Washington D.C. – Nancy Pelosi was re-elected speaker of the House of Representatives this afternoon, with her sights on the joint session of Congress on Wednesday in which a group of Republicans will seek to reverse the result of the elections and the victory of the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden .
Pelosi got 216 of the 430 votes in today’s election. Two Democrats voted for other candidates, while three voted ‘present’. The four Puerto Rican Democrats in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Nydia Velázquez, Darren Soto and Ritchie Torres, supported Pelosi’s re-election.
The final vote was 216 for Pelosi and 209 for Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California).
Ocasio Cortez, who has indicated that the Democratic leadership must be renewed, was one of the last to vote to ensure Pelosi’s victory.
To achieve victory in a first vote, Pelosi – who may be in her last term in Congress – could not lose more than the five Democratic votes that rejected her.
The Democrats have secured 222 of the 435 seats in the lower house, but one of their legislators was not present in the opening session today. There are two vacant seats, one for the death of Republican Luke Letlow (Louisiana) and the other for not declaring the winner yet in the 22nd district of New York.
For Pelosi, 80, this will be her fourth, non-consecutive, term as speaker of the lower house. The speaker held the position from 2008 to 2011 and then from 2019 to 2020. Now she will have to deal with her smaller majority, 222-212, pending the result of the 22nd district of New York.
“Defeating the coronavirus will remain our most urgent priority. And we will beat it. Two weeks ago we approved an emergency aid package to squash the virus and put money in the pockets of workers and families, which is now law, “said Pelosi, in her acceptance message, in which she acknowledged that” we started the new Congress at a time of extraordinary difficulty ”.
McCarthy introduced Pelosi. In his message, he criticized the Democratic plan to approve rules on Monday that will maintain proxy voting during the coronavirus emergency and dilute the vote to return a bill to the committee, which has been used in recent years as a mechanism for the minority. amend a measure.
The dean of congressmen, Republican Don Young (Alaska), took the oath from Pelosi, not without first mentioning that he doesn’t like the sharp divisions he sees in the lower house between Republicans and Democrats.
Until today, a dozen Republican senators have advanced that in the joint session of Congress on January 6 they will challenge the results of the US electoral college in several states, as requested by President Donald Trump after the failure of the lawsuits in which their lawyers or relatives alleged, without evidence, massive electoral fraud.
Eleven of the senators, led by Ted Cruz (Texas), will demand an audit of the results before Congress certifies Biden’s victory.
Another group of Republican congressmen will make the same claim, but the leadership of Congress has indicated that both houses, separately, will reject – after hours of debate – the effort to reverse the democratic will of American voters.
In an extraordinary telephone conversation on Saturday with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – reported today by The Washington Post – President Trump urged him to seek votes that will take away the victory from Biden in that state. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said.
As required by the Constitution, Congress will hold a joint session on Wednesday in which the President of the Senate, Vice President of the United States, Michael Pence, must receive the envelopes with the results of the electoral college, which reflected a margin of 306 to 232 in favor of Biden over Trump.
Normally, this is an ordinary procedure. This time, however, there will be one last attempt by a group allied with Trump for failing to recognize Biden’s triumph.
“We will allow objections to be discussed and the people will have their ‘day in court’ and we will listen to everyone and then we will vote. In the end, I don’t think it changes anything, ”said Senate Republican Majority Number Two John Thune (South Dakota), whom Trump has attacked for not supporting overturning the election.
Experts believe that Republicans such as Senators Cruz and Josh Hawley (Missouri), who was the first to announce from the Senate that he will question the electoral college’s vote count – which granted 306 of the 538 votes to President-elect Biden-, They are interested in ingratiating themselves with Trump’s base in view of a possible presidential candidacy for the 2024 campaign.