Congresswoman Barbara Lee defeated in pursuit of Democratic caucus chair

Congresswoman Barbara Lee defeated in pursuit of Democratic caucus chair

Out of 239 votes cast, 203 Democratic members voted to nominate Pelosi as speaker, with 32 voting against. Many of the Democrats who lost blamed Pelosi. But one by one, the powerful California congresswoman picked off the would-be challengers and smoothed skeptics.

Jahana Hayes, a Democrat who was elected to a seat in CT, expressed frustration that Pelosi's opponents haven't offered an alternative candidate.

The ongoing rebellion against Pelosi - of which another MA delegation member, Representative Seth Moulton, is a leader - has revealed frustration in the caucus about how long Pelosi, 78, and her top two deputies have held on to power.

"No one has asked me for a vote, other than Nancy Pelosi", Hayes said. Assuming that all Republicans vote against Pelosi for speaker, just 17 or 18 Democratic opponents could be enough to block her from becoming speaker. Votes were still being counted, but she was assured of victory.

Reps. Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, the current No. 2 and No 3. They were running unopposed.

Plenty of newcomers are set to fill the down-ballot slots, also being decided Wednesday, in closed-door voting that could stretch on for hours. It's also possible that some of the people who voted against her on Wednesday could support her later on the floor.

However, after the caucus vote, Pelosi indicated that she thinks she'll get the backing she needs in January's vote.

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"We're not going to make a big play of it", he said.

The race for Speaker of the House in Washington intensified again Wednesday with Rep. Nancy Pelosi winning the nomination to be Speaker beginning in January.

There was at least one man who was moved by Pelosi's re-election, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who officially nominated Pelosi (alongside Rep. John Lewis of Georgia), weeping as he made his declaration. Many Democrats warn that they need to be careful to avoid a political battle that will turn Republicans and independents against them before the 2020 elections.

"The battle is the floor", said Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, among those who signed a letter calling for new leadership.

"Hakeem's election is helpful to Leader Pelosi, because it's the advancement, in a very substantial position, of someone who most people here view as a new leader and really a rising star", said Rep. Brian Higgins of NY, who signed a letter with 15 other Democrats suggesting they would not vote for Pelosi, but endorsed her last week after she pledged to focus on two of his top policy priorities. Some say only with a floor fight in view will new leaders emerge. They say plenty of Democrats could step up to the job. She previously served as speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011.

Pelosi must repeat this feat a few more times if she wants to return to the speaker's chair.

"We have reached such an agreement with Leader Pelosi to help break the gridlock for the American people and will support her, so these rules and reforms can be adopted in January", the caucus said in a statement Wednesday. "This is a process whereby you've got a vote, which provides you with some leverage, and you have a voice, and the best thing you can do is articulate in a convincing way what it is you want to do and why you want to do it".

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