Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House and she has been the primary negotiator with the White House for the stimulus package up to this point.
She will be up for re-election this January for the position and some people have doubts about her ability to lock it down next year.
Although election results are still being finalized, Democrats lost several seats in the House this year. Republicans have gained at least five seats with some speculating that they will gain several more.
Democrats still have a majority in the House but the margin is now a little bit more narrow.
This narrow margin may not seem like a big deal but it could make it easier for Republicans to pass legislation because they can recruit Democrats to their side.
Instead of having to win something like 20 Democrats over, they may only have to convince 10 or so and that could pose a threat to how things play out in Congress.
Some believe that this could affect Pelosi’s ability to convince her fellow lawmakers to vote her in as the Speaker of the House.
“To suffer a net loss in seats in a year when many experts predicted a ‘blue wave’ has to leave some House Democrats wondering about the future of Pelosi’s leadership role,” Dr. Thomas Gift, a political scientist and director of the Centre on US Politics at UCL, said.
“That doesn’t mean a challenger is inevitable, or that she’d be likely to lose in a potential matchup, but it’s hard to imagine those discussions not happening behind closed doors.”
To become Speaker of the House you have to obtain 218 votes on the floor.
When Pelosi was up for the vote two years ago, there were 15 Democrats who voted against her.
And reportedly, if 10 of those votes go against her again, she will not become the Speaker.
If Pelosi does not remain the Speaker one has to wonder how that will affect the stimulus negotiations.
Pelosi was without a doubt one of the most stubborn actors in the negotiating process and with someone taking her place, you have to wonder if a deal would get made quicker?
Other people feel like Pelosi will not face opposition and will be easily reelected so we might be dealing with the status quo next year.
“While the Democratic Party did lose some seats in the House, the balance really didn’t change all that much with regard to what the caucus looks like,” Kristen Hawn, Democratic strategist and former chief political adviser to the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate House Democrats said.
But I think that a lot of people would prefer a new face as Speaker particularly as it could impact stimulus talks for the better.
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