As we wrote earlier today, it was as expected a very tight vote for Speaker of the House.
Controversially, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) was in attendance at the vote despite announcing that she was positive for the Wuhan coronavirus just Dec. 28.
Mooore also announced that she didn’t have a negative test yet but had been cleared to come in by a doctor.
According to CDC guidelines, even if she didn’t have symptoms (and we don’t know that she didn’t) she would still have to wait, assuming she announced shortly after her positive test.
But Pelosi clearly needed her there for the vote, it was a tight one. So clearly Pelosi wasn’t concerned about virus spread by having her there. Priorities.
There were two outright defections from Pelosi: Reps. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) who voted for other candidates. There were also three Democrats who voted present but didn’t vote for Pelosi: Reps. Sherrill (D-NJ), Slotkin (D-MI) and Spanberger (D-VA).
Then there were people who didn’t answer on the first call who appear to have been trying to play with Pelosi, perhaps waiting for an offer behind the scenes: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Cori Bush (D-MO). Other progressives in the Squad like Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) did vote for Pelosi on the first call.
She then had secured enough to win although McCarthy led until the final grouping of members. Ultimately the final vote was 216 to 209, with three “present.”
It reveals how weak she is as leader, with both progressives and moderates willing to either defect or taunt her if they don’t get what she wants. She has a bare majority as it is and that may not hold up as she moves forward into controversial decisions.