Jan. 3 (UPI) — The 117th Congress convened on Sunday to swear in new lawmakers and re-elect Nancy Pelosi as Home speaker because the Senate and Home put together to certify the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday in a joint session.
Democrats are set to enter the session with the narrowest majority within the Home for both occasion in 20 years with a 222-211 lead over Republicans and two new Democrats and 4 Republicans had been sworn into the Senate whereas a pair of runoff elections to find out the stability of the chamber can be held Tuesday.
Pelosi, the Democrat from Northern California secured the votes vital for an additional spherical as Home speaker, after operating unopposed following a nomination from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Two Democrats voted towards Pelosi, with Rep. Jared Golden of Maine voting for Sen. Tammy, D-In poor health., and Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania voting for Jeffries. Reps. Mike Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin all voted “current” which was thought of a nonvote.
Pelosi acquired 216 votes.
All Republican members supported Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy for speaker with 209.
“As we go into session immediately, I achieve this filled with delight to be nominated by our Democratic Caucus to be Speaker of the Home,” Pelosi mentioned in a letter earlier than the session. “I’m enormously grateful for the belief that Members have positioned in me. I’m assured that the Speaker’s election immediately will present a united Democratic Caucus prepared to satisfy the challenges forward and we’re ready to set our nation on a brand new course, beginning with the Electoral School assembly on Wednesday.”
Sunday’s assembly comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the Home was anticipated to carry a second of silence for Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, R-La., who died final week after contracting the virus.
Newly elected Home Republicans David Valadao of California and Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida each examined optimistic for the coronavirus and was not current Sunday.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a newly elected Republican consultant from Georgia, was seen not carrying a masks on the Home ground, prompting workers to talk to her.
The Senate met earlier to swear in members.
“To say the 117th Congress convenes at a difficult time would certainly be an understatement. From political division to a lethal pandemic to adversaries around the globe, the hurdles earlier than us are many, and they’re critical,” Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell mentioned. “However there’s additionally loads of purpose for hope.”
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., declined to say whether or not she would vote to certify the outcomes of the election as she and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., face Democratic challenges from Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff respectively.
“I am wanting very intently at it,” Loeffler instructed Fox Information Sunday, including nonetheless that “none of it issues” if she doesn’t win the runoff election on Tuesday.
Due to the runoff, Purdue will not be at present a member of the brand new Congress, and he’s self-quarantining after being in shut contact with somebody with coronavirus. Loeffler was appointed to her seat on Dec. 31, 2019 and can stay in it till the runoff winner is said.
If each Loeffler and Perdue are defeated, Democrats and Republicans would maintain equal share of the seats within the Senate.
A gaggle of a dozen Republican senators, led by Josh Hawley of Missouri, have mentioned they are going to object to the certification of the Electoral School vote, probably assuring lawmakers must undergo a short delay earlier than President-elect Joe Biden is said the 46th president of the US.
Additionally, no less than 140 Home members says they are going to object to certification of the Electoral School outcomes, together with 4 states gained by Biden: Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia.
To object to any state’s licensed electoral votes, no less than one member from every home should object. A number of Home Republicans have already mentioned they are going to and Hawley’s assertion all however assures the method will now embody a short debate interval.
Home and Senate would then meet individually for 2 hours to debate every state’s contested state’s electoral vote.