‘Madame Speaker’: Pelosi reclaims the gavel

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The longtime Democratic leader was elected speaker after previously dispatching a rebellion in her ranks.

Nancy Pelosi was elected speaker for the 116th Congress on Thursday, cementing her legacy and returning the longtime Democratic leader to the post she first held eight years ago.

Pelosi, the first and only woman to ever wield the speaker’s gavel, received 220 votes out of the 430 votes cast. Fifteen Democrats defected, with twelve casting votes for other people and three voting “present.” As speaker, Pelosi will be the most prominent Democratic foil to President Donald Trump and second in line to the presidency.

“Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn,” Pelosi said in a speech after winning the gavel. “I am particularly proud to be the woman speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks 100 years of women winning the right to vote.”

The election marks a triumphant return to the gavel for the California Democrat after a band of a dozen-plus rebels unsuccessfully tried to deny her the speakership late last year. Pelosi is the first person in six decades to regain the speaker’s gavel after losing it, a job she first held from 2007-2011.

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