House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is seeking another term leading the House, but coronavirus could throw a massive kink in her plans to cruise to re-election.
While Democrats still hold the majority in the House, they suffered heavy losses in the 2020 election, and Pelosi cannot afford defections.
Thanks to the slim margins of control in the House, a significant number of defections could throw Pelosi’s plans for a loop. In the very worst case, it is possible that Republicans could elect the House Speaker of their choosing.
Another possible path to a Republican House Speaker is the requirement that Representatives be present on the House floor to vote for the Speaker. If enough Democrats are unable to be present because of quarantine or coronavirus infections, Republicans could easily elect the Speaker.
Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY) said that “Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with Covid, and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy.”
This is obviously a long-shot scenario, but it illustrates how weak Pelosi’s hold on power is. Pelosi is expected to be handily elected, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the process becomes more complex.
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