U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, on Sunday began her second term in Congress representing the people of Central Virginia, including Culpeper County, according to a release from her office.
On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in a rare Sunday session on Jan. 2, 2021, Spanberger, for the second time, did not definitively vote to reelect Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.
She instead cast a “present” vote while others voted yes or no.
“As the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s Seventh District, my chief responsibility is to fight for the priorities of Central Virginia’s communities—and to support leaders and strategies that can deliver these priorities over the next two years,” the Congresswoman said in a statement on Sunday. “In a time marked by historically low trust in our government, new voices are necessary to moving forward and achieving real progress. Last Congress, I kept my promise to vote for new leadership upon my swearing-in—and in this Congress, I remain consistent in my commitment to ushering in new leadership. Accordingly, I did not vote for Speaker Pelosi.”
Spanberger looked forward to addressing issues such as lowering healthcare costs, the climate crisis, inclusive justice in all policy areas, infrastructure investment and building an economy that creates opportunity for everyone, the release said.
“While we will not have new leadership in the Speaker’s Chair, it is my hope that the American people will witness a broader breadth of voices in Congress leading in pursuit of these policy objectives,” Spanberger said.
Pelosi was narrowly reelected Sunday as speaker, receiving 216 votes to 209 votes for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. She has led her party in the House since 2003 and is the only woman to be speaker.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC, in an email to the Star-Exponent on Monday, said Spanberger’s vote and others like it were “cowardly hiding behind” the vote. The group announced digital ads targeting the local Congresswoman and 20 other Democrats it termed “vulnerable” related to their votes for Pelosi’s re-election.
“Spanberger voted ‘present’ which helped Pelosi hold onto the Speaker’s gavel by lowering the overall threshold needed for her to stay in charge,” said a Congressional Leadership Fund spokesman