The Democrat Nancy Pelosi has been re-elected chairwoman of the US House of Representatives. At the constituent meeting of the Congress Chamber on Sunday, Pelosi just achieved the necessary majority for re-election for the influential top post with 216 votes. Their challenger, Republican Kevin McCarthy, got 209 votes.
Pelosi had already steered her party as chairman of the House of Representatives through the second half of the tenure of US President Donald Trump for the past two years – as America’s most politically powerful woman and the Republican’s most important opponent. From 2007 to 2011 she had already been chairwoman of the Congress Chamber. At that time, she became the first woman in the country’s history to take up the post. The now 80-year-old has signaled that this will be her last term at the helm of the House of Representatives.
Majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives is scarce
After the Democrats had unexpectedly lost many seats in the House of Representatives to the Republicans in the November election, the majority of the party in the chamber has become extremely tight. It has shrunk to currently 222 from 435 seats. Two seats are currently vacant – one because of an open race, another because of the recent death of a newly elected parliamentarian. Several MPs were also absent due to illness at the opening session. 427 parliamentarians were present.
Two months after the elections, the new US Congress met for its constituent session. The House of Representatives, which is dominated by the Democrats, and the Senate met on Sunday to swear in their members.
How the majority in the Senate will be is still open: voters in the state of Georgia will decide in two runoff elections on Wednesday on the final composition of the House of Lords. The Democrats would have to win both seats to win a majority in the Senate.
One of the first tasks of the new Congress is the formal confirmation of the future US President Joe Biden at a joint meeting of the House and Senate next Wednesday. Historically, this is considered a formality. However, twelve Republican senators had already announced that they would object to it.
According to information from the broadcaster CNN, around a hundred members of the House of Representatives also want to deny recognition to the Democrat. The initiatives could delay the final confirmation of Biden’s victory. However, they have no prospect of success.