New Speaker of the House

Rex Snow, MVC News Editor

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As of November 6, 2018, the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the midterms, meaning that they are now able to vote in a new Speaker of the House. Current speaker, Paul Ryan, will step down on January 3, 2019, when the next session of Congress begins. He planned to retire from politics even before Democrats won the House. This situation however, means that another Speaker of the House chosen by Democrats will force Ryan out of his position.

Democrats within the House have nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. She was the previous Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011 under Barack Obama. In a recent vote among Democrats, Pelosi came out on top as the candidate for the job. The vote for Pelosi was 203 in support, and 32 against, with one member absent. She was picked out of the three top candidates, which also included James Clyburn and Steny Hoyer. This was the first election before the second key election in which the whole House will vote. The next election will require 218 votes in order to win the position of Speaker of the House.

As part of outreach efforts, Pelosi has meet with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the New Democrat coalition, and the Problem Solvers Caucus. These discussions have increased support for Pelosi among Democrats.

However, some Democrats have opposed her return the the position. A letter promising to oppose Pelosi as House speaker was signed by Sixteen Democrats in the House.

“The next speaker of the house should be someone young enough to stay in power for a long time,” said Alexa Clayton, 11.

Furthermore, some Democrats like Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio have argued that, “the American people sent a clear message that we need a new approach and new leaders in Congress…It’s time for us to listen.”

Other members of her opposition, like Ohio Democratic Representative Marica Fudge had previously considered to challenge Pelosi for Speaker of the House. However, after being granted chairmanship for a new House subcommittee on elections, Fudge reversed her opposition in support for Pelosi. This shows that there is still time to improve relations with other Democrats before the second election.

What’s unique about this election is that Pelosi would become the first House speaker since Samy Raburn to be the Speaker of the House, become the minority of the house, and then win the initial role again. Furthermore, her reappointment would  mark the return of the first female to become Speaker of the House.

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