Democrat Joe Biden praised San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as a “trailblazing leader” after she was successfully re-elected to serve as the Speaker of the House in the 117th Congress, marking the fourth time she has been elected to the leadership position since she took it for the first time back in 2007.
“Jill and I extend our warmest congratulations to Speaker Pelosi on her well-deserved re-election today as Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Biden, who referred to her as “one of the most effective and accomplished legislators in our nation’s history.”
“I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi will continue to lead the House with dignity, principle and patriotic resolve,” added Biden.
Back in November, the Democratic caucus under Pelosi was in turmoil due to large House losses — in races Democrats expected to win — and left-wing lawmakers and some purple-district Democrats blamed each other. All the while, Pelosi managed to avoid a major challenge to her leadership role from within the Democratic caucus itself.
Biden, who predicted a chance to make “unprecedented progress” in coming months, said in his statement that with the help of Pelosi’s leadership in the House, “we will come together to defeat the ongoing pandemic, take on the existential threat of climate change, instill greater equity and justice in our society, and build our economy back better than before.”
“I look forward to working closely with the Speaker and her colleagues in the House, majority and minority alike, to pursue that vital work on behalf of all of the American people,” concluded Biden.
Statement by President-elect Biden on Nancy Pelosi’s reelection as Speaker of the House: pic.twitter.com/m6u6BwFlRj
— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) January 4, 2021
In a post-speakership election speech on the House floor, Pelosi said that the “most urgent priority” of the House would be defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. (President Donald Trump recently signed a major COVID-19 relief deal, a piece of legislation Congress couldn’t get passed for months.)
“Indeed, the pandemic has pulled back the curtain and shown even worsened disparities in our economy and our society,” said Pelosi in the speech. “We must pursue justice: Economic justice, justice in health, racial justice, environmental and climate justice, the list goes on. Every morning in this chamber, we take a pledge: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The speaker re-iterated: “Liberty and Justice for All. Every day, the Congress must live up to that pledge.”
Only two Democrats voted for someone other than Pelosi, and neither of the two voted for Pelosi as speaker back in the 2019 leadership election. Three other Democrats voted “present” instead of casting a vote for anyone. On the other side of the aisle, two-hundred and nine members of Congress voted for Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has served as House minority leader since 2019.