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Congress swearing in 2021: Live Updates

House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Getty Images

Members of House Democratic leadership expressed confidence on Sunday morning in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chances of being re-elected to the top-ranking position in the new Congress.

Asked in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” how many votes he thinks Pelosi, who is running unopposed, will lose, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries answered “well, Nancy Pelosi will be the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,” noting that that there is “incredible enthusiasm” for the California Democrat to keep her post as she’s been a “historic, legendary legislative leader through incredibly turbulent times.”

House Majority Whip James Clyburn said “yes, yes” when asked on MSNBC if he thought Pelosi would be re-elected as Speaker. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who joined Clyburn in the live interview, could be heard chuckling when Clyburn was asked the question.

CNN has reported that Pelosi has a slim margin for error and will have to count votes carefully to ensure that she can avoid any embarrassment on the House floor, facing the Democrats’ smallest majority in decades, a pandemic that could hinder attendance and some in her caucus agitating for new leadership, as well as unified Republican resistance.

Jeffries said Pelosi will continue to take a “big tent approach” to governing with her diverse narrow Democratic majority, adding that the party has used this strategy “not just internally” in recent years.

The New York Democrat went on to list the areas where the party has worked with President Trump, including criminal justice reform, USMCA and the end of surprise medical billing.

“We continue to stand with President Trump, for instance, as he pushes for $2000 direct stimulus payments,” he said.

Addressing the rules package that the 117th Congress will vote on this week, Jeffries said he would not interpret the proposed expansion of the Houses’ subpoena and investigative powers as “an effort to look backward” at the Trump presidency.

“The House is a separate and coequal branch of government. At the end of the day, we don’t work for any president, whether that’s a Democrat or Republican, whether it’s Donald Trump or Joe Biden,” he said. 


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