House Democrats nominated Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday as the speaker to lead them into Joe Biden's presidency, but she'd be guiding a smaller and ideologically divided majority as she tries shepherding his agenda toward enactment. Democrats used a voice vote to make Pelosi their choice to serve two more years in her post. Scattered around the US, it was the party's first virtual leadership election, a response to the pandemic, per the AP. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and No. 3 party leader Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Congress' highest ranking Black member, were reelected to their positions, like Pelosi without opposition. "Let us all be advocates for unity in the Democratic party, where our values are opportunity and community," Pelosi, the first female speaker, wrote to Democrats this week.
Pelosi has won wide acclaim among Democrats as a leading foe of outgoing President Trump in battles over impeachment, immigration, and health care. But with some votes still being tallied in this month's elections, 10 incumbent House Democrats have been defeated, dashing expectations of adding seats and damaging party morale. This has sparked finger-pointing, with progressives saying the party failed to adequately win over minority and young liberal voters, and moderates saying they were hurt by far-left initiatives like defunding the police. Many Democrats also want fresh leadership: Pelosi and Hoyer have been No. 1 and 2 House Democrats since 2003, while Clyburn rose to the No. 3 ranks in 2007. Pelosi and Clyburn are 80, Hoyer is 81. The full House will formally elect the new speaker when the new Congress convenes in early January, shortly before Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.
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