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Pelosi elected speaker despite defections, as Democrats reclaim House majority

Nancy Pelosi on Thursday recaptured the speaker’s gavel as her party returned to power in the House of Representatives, overcoming more than a dozen defections from rebellious Democrats.

The political powerhouse from California was elected with 220 votes. In her new role, she will immediately confront the ongoing standoff over the partial government shutdown, even as she tries to set her party’s agenda in the 116th Congress and her deputies wield new power to scrutinize the Trump administration on numerous fronts.

Pelosi, who previously served as speaker for two terms, has eyed a return to the position ever since Republicans took the House in 2010.

Her return, though, wasn’t guaranteed after Democrats flipped control of the chamber in November: some Democrats campaigned on opposing Pelosi’s return to the speakership, calling for new leadership. But in recent weeks, Pelosi, who first entered Congress in 1987, won over enough critics to secure the job again in part by agreeing to term limits for the speaker’s office.

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