If you thought election day was nuts, today’s Speaker vote math could bring down Nancy Pelosi

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If the Chinese plague can deliver Joe Biden the White House then anything is possible, even seeing the gavel ripped from the hands of 80-year-old Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

With the new Congress convening this week, the first task is to elect a speaker and Fox News congressional reporter Chad Pergram shared an exhaustive online thread on how that’s not entirely out of the question.

 

As Pergram noted upfront, the remote voting established in the last Congress is not in effect until the new body implements it, which occurs after the vote for speaker.

Which means members must be present to vote, and with Pelosi enjoying the tightest majority in recent history, she can afford few losses — there were 15 party defections in the 2018 vote for speaker, which is greater than her current margin.

Pergram explained that because the old rules don’t carry over, everyone has to show up at noon on Sunday.

He also asked, “Is it appropriate for members who have tested positive, have been in quarantine or been exposed, be present today?”

In explaining the first order of business, which is a critical quorum, Pergram goes into painstaking detail of how this will play out due to the pandemic.

“Watch to see exactly how many members show up for the quorum,” Pergram tweeted. “This will be crucial because it will dictate the size of the House to begin and how many votes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) needs to return to the Speaker’s suite.”

Pergram explained that Democrats will nominate Pelosi and the GOP will nominate House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif..

“The House will then begin a manual roll call with members filing into the chamber, again, in groups, and verbally announcing their vote,” he further explained.

And while Pelosi is expected to win this vote, Pergram notes the slim majority Pelosi has and gets into the “math” that could deliver different results, based on a number of developing events.

And this is where the math could get interesting, resulting in a possible Republican majority.

Stressing that “anything can happen during a pandemic,” Pergram makes a critical point that whichever candidate secures an outright majority of the entire House is the new speaker, not the most votes.

Pergram then breaks down how that could result in McCarthy wielding the speaker’s gavel for the next two years.

The process could get messy and drag out, and while rare, Pergram noted that it has happened before.

Tom Tillison

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