Democrats re-claimed power in the House on Thursday and officially elected Nancy Pelosi to be the next speaker, returning her to a position for which she made history as the first woman elected to the office.
The California Democrat earned 220 votes from a total of 430 members present. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, won 192.
The House on Friday cleared a bill that would ensure back pay for federal workers missing paychecks as a result of the partial government shutdown, as well as guarantee payment for employees affected by any future closures.
The measure passed with broad bipartisan support, 411-7. All seven votes against the bill came from Republicans.
“On the first day that some of our federal employees will miss their paycheck, Congress is saying and guaranteeing that workers will be paid not only for this shutdown, but God forbid if we have any future ones, that their pay will be guaranteed,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday.
Air traffic controllers have incredibly stressful jobs keeping us safe – but federal ATCs aren’t getting paid during the shutdown. The House already voted to fund the FAA this week. It’s time for the Senate to do the same. #EndTheShutdown https://t.co/9qyX9RV6np
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 11, 2019
Pelosi overcame a Democratic rebellion from members calling for generational change at the top, among other hurdles, to win the gavel but on Thursday the opposition was nominal. In total, she suffered 15 Democratic defections, mostly from new members who pledged to oppose her during their campaigns and from old foes who have long called for new leadership.
“Your families will get your paychecks” after the shutdown is over, Vice President Pence said Friday at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington, D.C., following the House vote.
The shutdown has prevented federal employees in nine departments and several smaller agencies from receiving their paychecks, whether they were furloughed or required to work in roles deemed essential.
Senate Democrats are pushing to provide back pay for low-wage government contractors, such as food service workers, security guards and custodial staff, whose pay was not addressed in the bill that now heads to the White House.
Trump has said he would not sign legislation to open the government unless it includes $5.7 billion for his proposed border wall. Democrats have refused to provide more than the $1.3 billion for fencing that was provided in last year’s appropriations.