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.
Moore 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 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), who voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Jared Golden (D-ME), who voted Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). 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). Eventually, however, they did vote for Pelosi. Other progressives in the Squad like Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) did vote for Pelosi on the first call. So ultimately, all the members of the Squad ended up voting for Pelosi.
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It was so close, they even set up a plexiglass box to enable some folks who had tested positive for the Wuhan virus to vote.
In the end, though, she prevailed.
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.