Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, when Congress reconvened for the new year.
It’s Pelosi’s fourth term as House Speaker and the California lawmaker has indicated it will likely be her last, reports Politico.
The 80-year-old Democratic representative was narrowly re-elected by a 216-209 vote over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, which was mostly cast along party lines.
"It gives me great pride to serve as speaker of the most diverse House in American history, with a record-shattering 122 women,” said Pelosi, after she was named the chamber’s leader once again.
Pelosi is the only woman to lead the House. In remarks after the vote, she noted the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920, and saluted the women now serving in the House at the start of the 117th Congress.
“One hundred and twenty-two women," she said. "You can applaud that.”
The Democrats now hold a slimmer 222-211 majority in the House, after the Republicans gained seats in the November general election. In the Senate, two Georgia runoff elections on Tuesday will determine which party will hold the majority with President-elect Joe Biden set to take office later this month.
Pelosi thanked her husband Paul and their five children, as well as her constituents in San Francisco — part of California’s 12th district, which she has represented since 2013. The lawmaker has served in Congress for 33 years, all as a representative from the state.
She previously held the House Speaker position from 2007-11, before the GOP held a majority of the House until the 2018 midterm elections.
Pelosi will preside over what’s expected to be a contentious House, following a tumultuous Donald Trump presidency and a divisive 2020 election which the president is still attempting to overturn despite Biden’s election being certified and no evidence of significant voter fraud. Biden, 78, will take the oath of office later this month.
Before handing Pelosi her Speaker’s gavel on Sunday, McCarthy, the highest-ranking Republican in the House, told Pelosi that she oversaw “the least productive Congress in nearly 50 years” during the last two years.
Pointing to the GOP’s gain in House seats this past November, McCarthy said the election should serve as a “wake up call” for Democratic lawmakers.
“The question I ask of this majority: Were you listening?” he said.
Five Democratic representatives did not vote for Pelosi, who received a standing ovation from her colleagues after the votes were tallied.
“Scripture tells us that to everything, there is a time, a season: a time for every purpose under the heavens; a time to build, a time to sow, a time to heal,” Pelosi said after the vote. “Now is certainly a time for our nation to heal.”
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