Since taking back the House and reclaiming the speaker’s gavel two years ago, Pelosi has had a sizable cushion to work with — over 230 Democrats in the House. That means Pelosi could afford to lose a handful of votes from her members when she needed to. And she never had to rely on Republicans to shepherd must-pass bills though the House.
But next year, Pelosi and her deputies will have little room for error. Democrats will probably only have a five- to 10-seat majority. That could make it difficult to pass even routine legislation, especially with the moderate and liberal wings of the party already sparring over their agenda and what went wrong in the election. Policy priorities that veer too far in one direction may be out of the question in some cases.
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