Nancy Pelosi is well on her way to being the Speaker of the House once again after House Democrats nominated her in a 203-32 vote.
Pelosi, who served as Speaker of the House under President Obama, will now how have to get past a vote of the full House during the first week of January, and as The Hill notes, she cannot afford to have those 32 Democratic dissenters when the full House vote comes around. Even with the Democratic majority in the House, she needs to get that number down to 17.
Pelosi was running for the Speaker position unchallenged, so those dissenting votes were mostly symbolic—a middle finger of sorts from the incoming freshmen without enough skin in the game to run against her themselves.
A Democratic lawmaker told The Hill that Pelosi had given her intra-party opposition the green light to vote against her in Wednesday’s closed ballot so that they may vote “present” in the January floor vote.
Some of Pelosi’s loudest detractors have been Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. Rice told The Hill that a group from the opposition met with Pelosi prior to the vote “to engage her in a reasonable conversation about leadership transition,” but they were reportedly rejected.
“Unfortunately, our concerns were dismissed outright,” Rice said in a statement.
Moulton expressed disappointment that no agreement had been reached but remained hopeful that she “will invite us back to the table to plan for the future success of the Democratic Party.”
Pelosi herself was optimistic as the votes were being counted. She told reporters “Our diversity is our strength, but our unity is our power, and we will use that power again in a unifying way for our country.” She was also optimistic and maintained “we’re in pretty good shape” for January’s speaker vote.
The House will vote on Pelosi’s nomination Jan. 3.