Nancy Pelosi was elected speaker of the House for the 117th Congress, clinching the gavel for the fourth — potentially last — time during the most chaotic and unpredictable season in Washington in a lifetime.
Pelosi won 216 votes to secure the speakership with five Democrats breaking ranks to support someone else or vote present. All Republicans voted for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Pelosi remains the only woman to ever lead the House.
In a sign of just how delicate the vote count was, and with a recognition of the surging pandemic, House officials constructed a special plexiglass box in the chamber today so that members who tested negative for the coronavirus but were quarantining after exposure — two Democrats and one Republican in this case — could still cast their vote.
The move sparked outrage and head-scratching among lawmakers and House officials, some of whom openly questioned whether the speaker’s vote mattered more than the safety of lawmakers and staff. We have more details at the link in bio.