Dems worry a COVID outbreak among House members could cost Pelosi her job

As Nancy Pelosi gears up for another run at the speakership in the House, there is one factor that she cannot control that could cost her the powerful seat: the coronavirus.

Working with a slim majority of Democrats and facing several in her own party who will oppose her, Pelosi does not have much wiggle room.

Thus, a COVID-19 outbreak among House members—in which several Democrats were sick and unable to come into work—could result in Republicans voting for Kevin McCarthy to reign as speaker, despite Democrats holding the majority, as reported by The Hill.

“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 in its report on this subject.  

An outbreak among members over the holidays is a big fear among the Democrats, especially since three of their own: Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb, Maine’s Jared Golden and Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin are all set to oppose Pelosi in her bid.

“We’re in a health care crisis, right? No one can get sick. That’s the X-factor here,” said one House Democrat anonymously told The Hill. “We need everyone to be healthy. … That’s the big fear.”

So far 35 members of the House have gotten COVID-19 since the outbreak began—including 5 members that tested positive just this week.

“There’s the usual suspects who make it part of their brand to vote against her,” Jim Himes (D-Ct) told the Hill. “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.”

With opponents in her own party, perhaps more than usual, and the possibility of COVID keeping her loyal members at home, Pelosi may face a devastating re-election failure in the coming weeks.

Read the full report here.

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