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Nancy Pelosi Elected House Speaker in New Congress

Nancy Pelosi won back the title of speaker of the House Thursday, earning 220 votes to California Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s 192. Throughout the vote, which lasted over an hour, Pelosi sat in an aisle seat on the House floor, smiling confidently. She didn’t flinch during the first Democratic vote against her, when Rep-elect. Anthony Brindisi (NY) named former Vice President Joe Biden. When Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) voted for Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.), Pelosi appeared busy waving to someone across the room. She didn’t seem to hear Rep.-elect Abigail Spanberger’s (D-Va.) vote for Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), as she was too busy admiring Rep. Eric Swalwell’s infant. All told, more than a dozen Democrats voted against her—but not enough to deny her a second chance at the speaker’s gavel.

The Associated Press reports that Pelosi is the only woman to have ever held the position, and one of the very few lawmakers to hold it twice. Her re-election bid wasn’t easy—in the aftermath of the 2018 midterms, Pelosi faced opposition from the younger, more liberal wing of her party, which argued that the role should be filled by a more progressive candidate. But with her re-election, Pelosi will guide Democrats through shutdown negotiations and potential impeachment proceedings. Pelosi plans to pass a funding bill almost immediately to put pressure on Trump, CBS reports—but since it won’t include funding for a border wall, the president is unlikely to sign it. She will also provide a more moderate voice when it comes to impeachment, having indicated that she won’t make any decisions until special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete.