Pelosi ran unopposed in her election after serving 17 years as leader of the House Democrats.
But he had a small margin for error and was carefully counting votes to make sure he could avoid any embarrassment in the House.
Pelosi faces the smallest majority of Democrats in decades, a pandemic that has hampered attendance and some members of her group are campaigning for new leadership as well as a unified Republican resistance.
“If Nancy can do anything, she can count,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat.
“She is well aware of the fact that with a slim majority, with some members voting against her two years ago, she will have to make an effort to persuade them that this was then and this is now. We cannot afford to be uncertain about him. speaker “.
To win the speaker’s seat, a member must receive a majority vote.
In 2018, 15 Democrats defected from Pelosi, but she can only afford to lose a few in 2021.
After losing a dozen seats in 2020, House Democrats are likely to control about 222 seats in the next term.
Democratic Representatives Jared Golden of Maine and Connor Lamb of Pennsylvania defected, voting for Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries respectively.
A handful of moderate and progressive Democrats declined to say how they would vote.
But they ended up supporting her for one more period.
Democratic Representatives Mikie Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger, and Elissa Slotkin voted present.
Any “present” vote from a member is considered a no vote and would reduce the total number of votes that Ms. Pelosi will need to maintain the deck.
Ms Pelosi’s MPs were also concerned that some allies with underlying health problems could be marginalized, as all members must be present to vote.
A Democratic member, Representative Gwen Moore from Wisconsin, announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
He said he did not receive a negative test today before voting, but that he had been in quarantine for two weeks and was following the guidance of Dr. Brian Monahan, an assistant physician to the United States Congress.
Some members voted through a “safe enclosure” as they were exposed to someone with COVID-19 but then tested negative for the virus, according to the Capitol doctor.
Nebraska Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry voted for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy from the enclosed plexiglass area on the House floor, wearing a mask and face shield.
Monahan cited federal guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency that “essential workers, to ensure the continuity of operations of essential functions , they can continue to work after possible exposure to COVID-19 as long as they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are in place to protect them and the community. “
Before the vote, Pelosi and her allies projected confidence that she would win reelection.
“I am enormously grateful for the trust MPs have placed in me,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to her fellow Democrats.
“I am confident that today’s election of the President will show a united Democratic Caucus ready to meet future challenges, and that we are prepared to set our country on a new course, beginning with the Electoral College meeting on Wednesday.”
Rep. Jeffries said in Fox News Sunday that Ms. Pelosi “will be the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,” noting that there is “incredible enthusiasm” for the California Democrat to hold office as she has been a “historic legislative leader and legendary through incredibly turbulent times. “
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer chuckled when House Majority Leader James Clyburn was asked on MSNBC Sunday if he thought Pelosi would be re-elected as spokesperson.
She has a host of tools at her disposal to get votes, including a massive fundraising operation, committee assignments, and legislation that she can take to the floor.
In 2018, Pelosi, 80, suggested that this would be her last term in office, reaching an agreement with a small group of Democratic rebels that she would serve no more than two terms as president.
Pelosi told her members in a private call last week that her only enemy in the fight to be a spokesperson was COVID-19, according to multiple sources familiar with him, because the virus could affect the number of members who could come to Washington. and vote.
While members can vote while sick, the optics would be dire.
“She is one of the few clear leaders who can provide cohesion and leadership to the Democratic majority,” Connolly said.
“I think he comes into this in a strong position, but clearly aware of the challenges he faces in terms of numbers and the uncertainty of the coronavirus.”