Democrats are now started to get worried that COVID might stop Nancy Pelosi from being re-elected, speaker.
As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seeks the support to keep the gavel for another term, her allies are keeping close watch on a potential wild card that could complicate her path next month: COVID-19.
Pelosi is already facing a much slimmer majority in the next Congress, after Democrats were clobbered at the polls in November, meaning she can afford far fewer Democratic defections than the 15 who opposed her two years ago. And lawmakers must be present on the House floor to cast their vote for Speaker, precluding the option for members to vote remotely, as many have done throughout the pandemic.
The combination of factors creates the chance that Democrats could face a dilemma on Jan. 3 in which Pelosi locks up the Democratic support to remain Speaker, but coronavirus concerns — illnesses, quarantines or otherwise — prevent a sufficient number of them from being in the Capitol to log their votes.
In one scenario they even think that a Republican could become speaker:
A failure of Pelosi to secure support from half the voting members would, at the very least, throw the process into chaos. In the Democrats’ nightmare scenario, the math could tilt so far in the Republicans’ favor that it yields a GOP Speaker.
“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with Covid and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), referring to the House GOP leader.
This was a truly stunning story. It pulls back the curtain on just how much the Democrats lost in this 2020 election. They expected a blue wave. They thought their hatred for Trump over the past two years would give them a huge majority in the House. However, the American people saw through their lies and Republicans made huge gains in the House. Now, Dems are feeling the pressure of this sinking majority.
It goes deeper than Coronavirus as well. If the radical wing of The Democratic party decides not to back Pelosi then she very well might not become Speaker.
We will see.
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