Nancy Pelosi narrowly re-elected as US House speaker

Nancy Pelosi has been narrowly re-elected speaker of the United States House of Representatives as a new Congress took office amid the surging coronavirus pandemic and a plot by some Republicans to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

The House voted 216-209 to reinstate Pelosi on Sunday after Democrats lost 11 seats in the November elections to command a narrower 222-212 majority.

Five Democrats chose not to support her – two voted for Democratic legislators who were not running while three others simply voted “present”.

Pelosi, the only woman to have ever served as speaker, has led the House Democrats for 17 years.

“As we are sworn in today, we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced. We begin the new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty,” Pelosi said in a floor speech that noted the deaths of more than 350,000 Americans from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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