WASHINGTON (CBS News) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was reelected to lead the chamber as the 117th Congress convened Sunday, with the California Democrat set to shepherd her party through a new Congress with the slimmest majority in years.
Members cast their votes for speaker ahead of their swearing in Sunday evening, with Pelosi earning support from 216 Democrats and clearing the threshold of 214 to secure the House’s top position. The proceedings at the Capitol were marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a changing of procedures to ensure the new Congress could gather safely.
Two Democrats — Jared Golden of Maine and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania — cast votes for Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, respectively. Three Democratic House member voted “present.” Notably, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, and other members of “The Squad” backed Pelosi in her bid for the speakership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy won 209 votes from Republicans.
The California Democrat, who has led her party in the House since 2003 and is the only woman to be speaker, had been widely expected to retain her post. Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., again will be the chamber’s minority leader.
CONTINUE AT CBS NEWS: Pelosi Reelected House Speaker as New Congress Prepares to Be Sworn In