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House Democrats to hold leadership votes as Pelosi appears on track to win speaker nomination

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The House of Representatives returned to Washington this week for the first time since the election and at the top of their agenda: another election -- this time to decide who will lead the caucus in the upcoming Congress.

House Democratic leadership elections Wednesday and Thursday are likely to see the 117th Congress run by the same predominant players.

The highest-ranking contested leadership race is for assistant speaker, and another key election to watch will be for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when Congress returns after Thanksgiving.

Pelosi is on track to win the nomination to be House speaker during House Democratic leadership elections this week.

The fact that Pelosi is expected to remain on as speaker is a sign of how strong her hold is over House Democrats even after they suffered disappointing losses in the 2020 elections.

That rift, and a smaller majority, may create new challenges for Pelosi as she leads House Democrats in the next Congress.

Rep. Katherine Clark, who currently serves as vice chairwoman of the Democratic Caucus, is vying for the job of assistant speaker against Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, and the race will be the first contested one on the leadership ballot.

The fourth-highest-ranking position in the House, the assistant speaker position was created by Pelosi to create additional leadership opportunities for young members of Congress as the establishment Democratic leaders continue to hold onto their seats.

As vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, she is the highest-ranking female lawmaker in the House, aside from Pelosi, and a close ally of the speaker.

With Democrats still reeling over lackluster election results, Clark will be able to point to her success working at the DCCC in 2018, when Democrats saw great gains in the House.

Cicilline, a progressive Democrat and the first member of House leadership to identify as gay, garnered national recognition as a member of the House Judiciary Committee that drafted articles of impeachment against Trump.

The elections will be conducted virtually -- for the first time ever -- through an encrypted application that is automatically downloaded on members' House-issued iPhones and was designed "in partnership with some of the nation's leading cryptologists," Jeffries said in a letter to members Friday obtained by CNN.

In races where a vote tally is ordered, the Democratic members will have 15 minutes to vote on the app.

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