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Dems Pick Pelosi as Speaker, but 'Showdown' Vote Looms

The full House will vote Jan. 3
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2018 2:40 PM CST
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, prepares to go before reporters as she emerges from the Democratic Caucus leadership elections as the choice for speaker of the House when her party...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi has won the battle but not the war. She was on Wednesday nominated to be speaker by her fellow House Democrats, but what the AP calls a "showdown vote" looms: The full House will vote on Jan. 3. Politico reports the final tally in what was a simple "yes" or "no" vote was 203-32, with three blank ballots and one member absent. "Are there dissenters? Yes," she said as the vote was happening. "But I expect to have a powerful vote going forward." Those trying to oust Pelosi say they always knew the internal caucus election would fall in her favor. She only needed a simple majority of Democrats to win the nomination.

But she'll need 218 votes in January, half the full 435-seat House, which is harder, if all Republicans vote against her, as is likely—though she could win with fewer votes if some lawmakers are absent or vote present. Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader played down the significance of Wednesday's caucus vote and said the true fight for House speaker will occur in January. "We're not going to make a big play of it," he said. "It's Jan. 3." Politico adds that Reps. Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn ran unopposed for House majority leader and majority whip, "putting the septuagenarian trio back in the same posts they held in the last Democratic majority." (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)

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