The 116th Congress was sworn in on Thursday and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) made history as the only second speaker to ever take back the gavel after losing it. After much debate on whether she had the votes to become speaker again, Pelosi was able to beat back any rebellion with 220 votes. She had 15 Democratic members who voted against her, 12 who voted for someone else and three who voted present. Republicans will be lead by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), who received 192 votes for speaker. Six members voted for someone else to lead the Republican caucus. He will serve as the minority leader. The rest of the leadership team for both parties is listed below:
Democratic Party: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD-05)- Majority Leader Rep. James Clyburn (SC-06)- Majority Whip Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03)- Assistant Speaker Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)- Democratic Caucus Chairman
Republican Party: Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01)- Minority Whip Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At-large)- Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06)- Republican Policy Committee Chairman
There was one anomaly on Thursday: Instead of the usual 435 members of Congress, only 434 members were sworn in, as House Democrats refused to seat North Carolina Republican candidate Mark Harris for the 9th Congressional District. The race is still being investigated for fraud after substantial allegations were brought forth to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, which has not certified the race. The House has the expressed constitutional authority to judge "the elections, returns and qualifications" of its members. It is unknown at this point what will happen but there is a January 11 election board hearing scheduled. It is possible that a new election will be held.
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