Tensions between Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives has rapidly increased as the two parties attempt to strike a viable compromise on whatever the next COVID-19 relief bill will contain.
According to Fox News, those tensions were put on display recently as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for prioritizing her powerful position as the head of the lower chamber over legislative items, saying “her power is more important than anything else” in a recent statement.
“Pelosi is fine with House Democrats skipping work if the votes are about legislation, but in January she will demand every Democrat show up—in person—to vote for her for Speaker,” McCarthy said. “Her message is clear: her power is more important than anything else.”
The 80-year-old Speaker is presumably less confident about her chances of being elected one last time as one of the most powerful people on Capitol Hill, as Democrats suffered through a veritable bloodbath in the 2020 election, losing a number of blue seats to Republicans.
When the final results of the 2020 election finally shake out, Democrats will likely have 222 seats in the lower chamber, while Republicans will likely have 213. That’s the slimmest majority in decades, according to NPR.
That could spell trouble for Pelosi and the Democrat party, as there are a number of moderate Democrats who have expressed some level of concern over the past month that Pelosi has lost control of the party to the aggressively progressive members of the House, which some claim made their elections much more difficult than they should have been.
Adding to that is the fact that in 2018, according to Ballotpedia, a staggering 15 Democratic House lawmakers didn’t vote for Pelosi in 2018, though she managed to narrowly win the Speaker position anyway. But in 2018, Democrats had many more members than they will in the new session of Congress coming up.
Only time will tell if Pelosi manages to muster the support needed in what will likely be her toughest race to date for the Speakership, but with any luck, enough Democrats will break rank and install someone more capable of holding the position.