Nancy Pelosi retained her position as the speaker of the US House of Representatives on Sunday, after winning by a margin of seven votes (216-209) against Kevin McCarthy of the Republican party.
There were several absences in the house for the vote owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers exposed to the coronavirus or suffering from it voted from an enclosure in a balcony overlooking the house chamber. The vote was held in groups of 72 to maintain social distancing in the vote.
Despite a Democrat-controlled house, Pelosi faced opposition from some Democrats who expressed their dissatisfaction with her holding the post since 2003.
Pelosi is 80 and several younger members of the Democrat party are eyeing her seat. However, she recently suggested that this could be her last two years as Speaker.
Appreciation for Pelosi, but challenges ahead
Newly elected Democrat Jamaal Bowman said that he voted for Pelosi to restore a semblance of stability.
Pelosi received appreciation from several Democrats for opposing President Donald Trump in the house. Hakeem Jeffries, who nominated Pelosi for the Speaker's post, called her a "notorious negotiator and a legendary legislator for such a time as this."
Although the House of Representatives and the Speaker now belong to the Democrats, the Senate continues to be controlled by the Republicans, who plan to mount several challenges before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.
Senator Ted Cruz stated last week that he wasleading a drive with 10 other Republican senators to challenge the electoral college results in the Congress on January 6. Cruz said that they would reject electors from states where the election was supposedly rigged.