Nancy Pelosi Steps Down

Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to lead the U.S. House of Representatives, announced that she will not seek re-election as top House Democrats. Pelosi said that she will remain a member of Congress and will serve the remainder of her current term.

Pelosi was elected to Congress in 1987, and became the highest ranking woman in congressional history when she was elected as House minority Whip in 2002. She was elected Speaker of the House in 2006 when the Democratic Party won back the House majority. 

She announced that she will not seek re-election to her Congressional leadership position in a 14 minute speech, which she gave the day after it was announced that Democratic Party lost the House majority in the midterm elections. Pelosi, who is 82, had kept her future plans quiet until her announcement. In this announcement, she said that  in her 35 year house career and two decade career as the top House Democrat, the diversity in the Democratic caucus has grown tremendously. She will continue to represent the 12th district of California in the House. 

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Earlier in October, her husband Paul Pelosi was attacked in their home by a hammer wielding intruder. The purpose of the attack was to injure Nancy Pelosi, because she was third in line of succession for the Presidency. Nancy Pelosi was not at home at the time of the attack, so her husband Paul was attacked instead. Pelosi had said this incident would affect her decision to remain as leader.

Since the Republican Party recently won over the House Majority, they will elect the next Speaker of the House. The next projected Speaker is Kevin Mcarthy. Mcarthy has been the minority house leader since 2019. To secure this position, Mcarthy will need 218 GOP votes.

The Democratic Party also has had to elect a new minority leader. Steny Hoyer, who had been the last democratic majority leader, has said that he will not run again. House Democratic elections were held at the end of November and the Democratic Party has chosen Hakeem Jefferiess to succeed Pelosi as democratic leader. Jefferies will be the first African American to lead either major party in the House. Jefferies ran unopposed.

Pelosi has said she feels “great, and happy, and relieved” about Jefferies being the new democratic caucus leader in Congress. Jefferies has said he wants to, “lead an effort that centers our communication strategy around the messaging principle that values unite, issues divide.”

Now that Nancy Pelosi will not be the House Speaker, a younger generation of politicians will be able to take the lead. We will see how the House Leadership will impact political decisions in the future.