House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who represents San Francisco in the U.S. House of Representatives, was elected Speaker of the House on Thursday with 220 votes.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, received the second-highest amount of votes with 192.
Pelosi was the Democrats’ nominee for Speaker. McCarthy was the GOP’s nominee.
Eighteen members voted for someone other than the official nominee of either party, while three members voted present.
Pelosi’s win caps a remarkable comeback for the first woman ever elected Speaker of the House back in early 2007, a perch from which she served for two terms before the GOP took back the House majority in 2010’s midterm elections and held it until this past November’s midterms when the Democrats took it back.
Pelosi fended off an organized intra-Democrat Party rebellion, where she spent the last couple months since the midterm election flipping dissidents who had pledged to vote against her into allies who voted for her.
In her speech accepting the Speaker’s gavel, Pelosi praised what she called a “transformative Freshman Class,” members who were elected in November’s midterm elections.
“Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream for every family, advancing progress for every community,” Pelosi said. “We must be pioneers of the future. This Congress must accelerate a future that advances America’s preeminence in the world, and opens up opportunities for all – Building an economy that gives all Americans the tools they need to succeed in the 21st Century: public education, workforce development, good-paying jobs and secure pensions. We have heard from too many families who wonder, in this time of innovation and globalization, if they have a place in the economy of tomorrow. We must remove all doubt that they do, and say to them: we will have an economy that works for you. Let us declare that we will call upon the bold thinking needed to address the disparity of income in America – which is at the root of the crisis of confidence felt by so many Americans.”
As the first woman ever elected Speaker–this is now her second time–Pelosi also noted that she is honored to serve in the role on the 100 year anniversary of women winning the right to vote in America. She also noted the highest number of women ever are serving in the House this year.
“I am particularly proud to be the woman Speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks 100 years of women winning the right to vote, as we serve with more than 100 women in the House of Representatives – the highest number in history,” Pelosi said.