Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of US lower house
Washington: Representative Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, was elected the new speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Pelosi, 78, is the only woman who has held the office before and is among a few elected officials to return to the post. She was the House speaker from 2007 to 2011 when her Democratic Party controlled the lower chamber, Xinhua reported on Friday.
For her second speakership, Pelosi defeated Republican nominee Kevin McCarthy in a roll-call vote Thursday, winning 220 votes out of a total of 430 present, according to CNN.
In her floor speech upon accepting the speaker’s gavel, Pelosi said that the House floor must be “America’s Town Hall” where people’s voices will be heard and affect lawmakers’ decisions as she was trying to set a bipartisan tone for the new Congress.
She previewed her party’s priorities, including tackling climate change, lowering health care costs, investing in “green” infrastructure and “restoring integrity” to government, while proposing measures to end a partial government dragging into the 13th day on Thursday.
“Democrats will be offering the Senate Republican appropriations legislation to re-open government later today,” Pelosi said.
About a quarter of the federal government shut down last month as a result of an impasse between the White House and the Congress over whether to provide billions of US dollars for President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall.