Congressional Democrats are sweating about the possibility that the coronavirus may cost Nancy Pelosi her job.
The party is facing a far narrower majority next year and some members fear a coronavirus outbreak that disproportionately hit Dems could upend her expected reelection as Speaker of the House.
“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with COVID and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), told The Hill, speaking of the current Republican House leader.
Making sure her caucus shows up is also only half the battle. During her last campaign for speaker two years ago, she triumphed despite 15 members of her own party voting against her. She won’t have that margin of error this time around.
At least three Democrats, Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb, Maine’s Jared Golden and Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin have all said they intend to oppose Pelosi’s reelection to the speaker’s chair.
Washington, DC, has not been spared as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country. This week alone, five new members of the House tested positive for the deadly virus — bringing the total lawmakers with confirmed infections to 35.
“There’s the usual suspects who make it part of their brand to vote against her,” Connecticut Democrat Jim Himes added to the paper. “But I think there’s an awareness — and there’s certainly a message coming from within the caucus — that this may not be a year for the usual branding.”
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