San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi was re-elected speaker of the House for the next two years on Sunday.
It was an interesting election – and not just because Pelosi’s caucus is in internal turmoil.
She actually urged a COVID-positve Democrat to come to D.C. to vote so she could retain her gavel.
As the AP noted in its coverage of octogenarian’s new term at the helm, “To win, Pelosi had to overcome some Democratic grumbling about her longevity, a slim 222-211 edge over Republicans after November’s elections and a handful of absences because of the coronavirus. There were two vacancies in the 435-member House, and whatever happens Democrats will have the smallest House majority in two decades.”
One of those vacancies should go to a Republican. Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi trails GOP challenger Claudia Tenney by 29 votes, two months after Election Day. Brindisi – in doing something that apparently is only cool when Democrats do it – is trying to deprive Tenney the seat by challenging the results in court.
Nonetheless, the AP added, “With little margin for error, Pelosi suffered only a handful of Democratic defections in her latest display of her ability to line up support, and no opponent challenged her for the job.”
She ultimately won the job by a vote of 216-209 over Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
But here’s the fun part – which the AP neglected to tell its readers.
One ballot in Pelosi’s seven-vote triumph over McCarthy belonged to Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin.
Moore was COVID-positive as of Dec. 28. But she said on Sunday that was out of quarantine and had been “medically cleared to travel and work on behalf of Wisconsin’s Fourth Congressional District.”
On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the “best way to protect yourself and others” is to stay home for 14 days after being around someone who tested positive.
If you were the one who tested positive, as Moore did, and “continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.” That can be trimmed to seven days if you have a negative test.
Moore did not specify when she got sick; she only revealed the positive outcome on Dec. 28.
Still, her presence in Washington under such circumstances runs counter to the Democratic mantra of the last several months, and Republicans rightly took the opportunity to hammer lockdown-crazed, mask-mandating Democrats.
Colorado GOP Rep. Ken Buck argued, “Pelosi is putting the public’s health at risk to keep herself in power.”
Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., said “Looks like @SpeakerPelosi’s proxy voting and remote hearing measures are only essential when her leadership position isn’t on the line.”