House Speaker Pelosi signals this may be her last term

Nancy Pelosi Talks Impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi easily secured her caucus' nomination to lead the House on Wednesday and later seemed to reaffirm that this would be her last term as speaker, a jolting revelation after almost two decades in power.

Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn have led the Democratic caucus for the last 14 years.

It's the first time Democrats are holding their leadership elections virtually, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) were also elected, according to the account.

In the weeks since the election, reports have surfaced of infighting within the Democratic Party. They included congresswoman-elect Nikema Williams, who won the Atlanta-area district represented by Democratic representative John Lewis, the civil rights champion, until his death in July.

The top contested race was for assistant speaker, the No.4 party position, and it showcased potential members of a new generation of Democratic leaders.

Pelosi has won wide acclaim among Democrats as a leading foe of outgoing US President Donald Trump in battles over impeachment, immigration and health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the United States will have an "orderly" transfer of power in January amid President Trump's attempts to fight the 2020 election results in court and to spread allegations of widespread voter fraud.

The appointment of the top three Democratic leaders hasn't been without some private grumbling, particularly after the caucus' unexpected string of losses on November 3 shrunk its majority to its smallest in two decades. In a letter to colleagues on Monday, Pelosi sought to emphasize the need for Democrats to build consensus and craft legislation that is "respectful of the thinking and values of all members".

"What is becoming clear to all Americans is that we can not achieve real economic recovery until we address the expanding public health crisis", they wrote, adding confirmed COVID-19 cases are "skyrocketing" across the country with reporting averaging over 100,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day.

The party - which did not change its platform ahead of the election - was confident in many of its leaders.

Pelosi has led her caucus since 2003. She is widely expected to win.

If no one gets a simple majority, then the vote would keep going to another round until someone passes the 50% threshold. "She may be the bulwark against the extreme far-left".

That historical pull, said a person familiar with her decision, proved too much to turn down.

It's the fourth-highest leadership post in the House of Representatives.

"I will not be voting for Nancy Pelosi... But I don't think anybody would be foolish enough to take advantage of the situation". The winning candidate requires an outright majority of the House - 218 votes out of 435.