Democratic Congressman-elect Anthony Brindisi, who won a narrow victory over Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), is sticking to his commitment against voting for Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker of the House.
Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., downplayed the significance of Wednesday's caucus vote and said the true fight for House speaker will occur in January.
Although she is unopposed for speaker, Pelosi faced a consequential test. Wavering support could force a debate over an alternative candidate for speaker, a clear time-limit on her tenure or a compromise in other leadership posts that would ensure a generational change at the top - all options she has refused to consider.
"I think we're in pretty good shape", she said. Pelosi was running uncontested and enjoys widespread support within the liberal-heavy caucus she's led since 2003.
In fact, the Democrats are poised to return their entire top leadership team, including Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland in the No. 2 spot as majority leader and Rep. Jim Clyburn of SC as the whip. She wasn't expected to face any trouble within the confines of the Democratic caucus, especially given that no other Democrat publicly stepped up to challenge her in time for Wednesday's vote.
Pelosi still has to face a House floor vote from both parties on January 3, when the next Congress begins.
"We all agree that history is in a hurry, and we need to accelerate the pace of change in Congress, ' she wrote, noting the 'historic" class of new first-term lawmakers, the largest since Watergate, who led Democrats to the majority in the midterm election.
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"We had a most unifying session just now in the House Democratic caucus", Pelosi said.
'She's making a lot of headway, ' said Rep. Joyce Beatty of OH, an ally.
This was not the plan from Pelosi opponents who vowed to usher in a new era for Democrats.
Pelosi was the first female speaker in USA history and is attempting the rare feat of securing the speaker's gavel for a nonconsecutive term. They have pledged to vote against her and say she doesn't have enough support to win the floor vote, even as some of their members have reversed course to say they're open to voting for her. But one by one, the powerful California congresswoman picked off the would-be challengers and smoothed skeptics.
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But two of the critics who met with Pelosi Wednesday said they remained at odds, and that her speakership quest was in peril. But Hoyer and Clyburn are also both in their 70s, a negative factor for Democrats who want to see the party leadership get younger. In a nod to the group of 20-or-so members of Congress who openly objected to Pelosi's appointment in a letter last week, the caucus deciding the nomination took a paper ballot vote rather than a voice vote.
"It was a win-win for us as a party", said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of DE, who nominated Lee.
In 2007, Pelosi became the first woman to ever hold this office. "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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Due to the addition of Cook County, Illinois, the number of people under blizzard warnings jumped from 8 million to 14 million. Strong winds and snow created blizzard conditions across much of Nebraska and parts of Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.