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Pelosi Officially Elected House Speaker As Democrats Take Control

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In a widely anticipated move, members of Congress voted Thursday to once again elect Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif., as Speaker of the House.

Pelosi takes over as House Speaker for the second time after previously becoming the first woman to hold the position from 2007 to 2011.

Reflecting Democrats taking control of the chamber, Pelosi defeated incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., by a vote of 220 to 192.

Eighteen members of Congress voted for another candidate, with Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, receiving five votes and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., receiving four votes. Three others voted "present."

Pelosi re-claiming the Speaker's gavel was all but assured after she reached an agreement with a small group of Democratic rebels last month on term limits for senior House Democratic leaders.

The agreement would limit top party leaders to three terms, with a fourth term requiring the support of two-thirds of the caucus compared to the current simple majority threshold.

The term limits would be retroactive to include the two terms of the Democratic Majority from 2007 to 2011, when Pelosi previously served as House Speaker.

Pelosi, who has served as the top House Democrat since 2003, would subsequently be limited to a maximum of four additional years as Speaker.

In a statement, Pelosi said she would abide by the proposal whether or not it is approved by the Democratic caucus in a vote expected to be held before February 15th.

"Over the summer, I made it clear that I see myself as a bridge to the next generation of leaders, a recognition of my continuing responsibility to mentor and advance new Members into positions of power and responsibility in the House Democratic Caucus," Pelosi said.

Pelosi has indicated her first order of business as Speaker will be bringing up legislation to end the partial government shutdown.

House Democrats are expected to pass legislation that includes six full-year appropriations bills as well as a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security until February 8th.

The legislation would provide $1.3 billion for border security, well below the $5 billion that President Donald Trump has demanded for construction of a controversial border wall.

The White House has rejected the legislation, however, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders calling the plan a "non-starter."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has also dismissed the plan and stated the Senate will not vote on legislation that does not have the support of the president.

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