Speaker Vote Today Means COVID Rule Broken
Speaker Vote Today Means COVID Rule Broken
If there is a COVID breakout in the House of Representatives within two weeks, we should all blame Nancy Pelosi.
Today, the 116th Congress formally adjourns, and the 117th Congress will be sworn in and seated. The new Congress must also vote for Speaker of the House. However, thanks to COVID, what used to merely be a formality will be a day-long process. In order to make sure that social distancing and capacity rules under COVID are followed, the representatives will be brought into the House chamber in groups of 72.
And Pelosi’s majority is so slim, as we have covered before, that she cannot afford to lose as many votes as she did two years ago. Pelosi needs every single Democrat to show up and vote for her. The Speaker of the House is determined by simple majority of all the newly-sworn-in representatives present. Right now, the Republicans are short a few seats, due to a race that still has not be called in New York and is tied up in court, health reasons for one – Representative-elect Maria Elvira Salazar tested positive for COVID, and the tragic death of Representative-elect Luke Letlow. There were seven total absences recorded for today initially, but then California Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D) was marked “tardy” because he didn’t make the quorum vote.
However, Pelosi has a problem. Obviously, COVID has massively complicated the entire voting process for Speaker, since this HAS to be done in-person. Rick Larsen of Washington state just got done with 10 days of quarantine and has showed up to vote for Pelosi. However, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin just tested positive for COVID six days ago and has showed up in Congress to be sworn in and vote.
Moore has freely admitted that she didn’t get a negative COVID test before showing up to Congress, but apparently that’s okay because she’s a Democrat and Pelosi needs her vote for Speaker.
A Democrat rep who tested positive for COVID broke quarantine and ignored health guideline because Nancy Pelosi needed her vote for leadership padding. https://t.co/ZrZPzhbCpG
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 3, 2021
Quick question – if Moore didn’t get a negative test before coming, and if COVID is as transmissible as we have been told, is this a super-spreader event in the making? Or is this cool because some of these representatives (like Pelosi) have been vaccinated already (looking at you, AOC)?
Second question – would the media be making a bigger deal about Gwen Moore showing up to cast her Speaker vote if she had a R after her name instead of a D? Yes, this question is rhetorical, because Representative-elect Salazar is staying away from the swearing-in and Speaker vote today because she is still in quarantine, and can you imagine if she had showed up anyway?
Because this is all about Pelosi attempting to hold on to power, the media will tsk-tsk quietly about the rules that they scream bloody murder about on a regular basis – to the point of blaming Republicans for catching COVID for being “bad people” – because keeping Pelosi (the only choice the Democrats gave themselves) as Speaker is more important than keeping someone who has COVID and didn’t bother to prove that they are now negative for the virus out of the building and away from other people.
Who is the “bad person” in this scenario? Gwen Moore for listening to Pelosi? Nancy Pelosi for insisting her caucus show up to vote her in as Speaker? Who will be blamed if even one person – be it representative, journalist, or congressional staffer – gets sick?
This vote will be marked in the Congressional record as longer and more complicated than usual. The wink-wink stupidity of Pelosi encouraging Moore to show up to make sure she had just one more vote will get glossed over. And even if someone contracts COVID because of the recklessness of Pelosi and Moore, will they get blamed for it? Of course not! They’re Democrats!
UPDATE 4:59 PM ET
Well, for the moment, Pelosi has gotten her wish.
Pelosi re-elected as Spkr. Secured 216 votes. McCarthy had 209. A total of 5 Dem defections. 3 Dems voted present. 2 Dems, Lamb & Golden, voted for others. Pelosi needed 215
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 3, 2021
A margin of two votes isn’t exactly a mandate in the House. Pelosi is going to be looking over her shoulder at an angry Squad and frustrated moderates for the next two years.