US House Republican lawmaker Rodney Davis on Sunday slammed his Democratic colleagues for building a “shameful” plexiglass structure in the House chamber “in the dark of night” to allow lawmakers with COVID-19 infection history to cast votes for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as Speaker of the House.
Davis suggested that a “lack of communication with the minority” makes the Democrat decision to construct a plexiglass barrier in the chamber “100% political”.
“This is completely against everything we're told throughout this entire pandemic for house operations,” the ranking House Administration Committee member said on Sunday, cited by Fox News. “To build a structure like that in the dark of night, to only protect the votes that Speaker Pelosi needs to get elected speaker, is shameful.”
Earlier in the day, Pelosi narrowly defeated GOP House minority leader Kevin McCarthy in the House Speaker vote on the first day of the 117th US Congress, with 216 lawmakers voting for Pelosi and 208 supporting McCarthy.
427 votes cast for Speaker:— House Press Gallery (@HouseDailyPress) January 3, 2021
216 - Pelosi
209 - McCarthy
1 - Duckworth
1 - Jeffries
3 - "present"
Nancy Pelosi elected Speaker.
Pelosi, the House Democrat leader since 2003, will now be serving her fourth term as Speaker.
McCarthy is expected to retain his position as House GOP minority leader.
The 117th US Congress’s first conventions took place on Sunday on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, in which new congressional members were sworn in.
The new House of Representatives is set to hold a joint session with the Senate on 6 January to certify the results of the Electoral College vote in the November 2020 presidential election, which saw Joe Biden win the White House.