Nancy Pelosi Is Voted Speaker of the House, Which Means Democrats Are Officially in Control

Let the oversight begin.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California is applauded at the Capitol ahead of the vote that made her speaker of the House for the second time.Carolyn Kaster/AP

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On Thursday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was elected speaker of the House for the 116th Congress. In the biggest swing toward Democratic power since Watergate, Democrats gained 40 House seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Pelosi formerly held the speakership between 2007-2011, at which point Democrats lost the House majority and were replaced by a wave of tea party conservatives. She has since served as House minority leader. Pelosi is the only woman to ever be elected speaker, and is the first speaker to serve two non-consecutive terms since former Texas Rep. Sam Rayburn, who served three non-consecutive terms as speaker between 1940 and 1961.

The new Congress includes a number of firsts for female politicians, including the first Native American and Muslim women elected to Congress, as well as the youngest woman elected to Congress.

The first act of the new House will be attempting to pass a spending bill to end the government shutdown that began on December 22 and has continued through the new year. President Donald Trump has said he will not sign the Democrats’ bill, which will not include funding for his border wall. Democrats have also promised a robust oversight agenda, which will include a number of investigations into Trump and his campaign.

Watch Pelosi’s first remarks after retaking the speaker’s gavel below:

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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