Nancy Pelosi stands down as leader of US House Democrats

Nancy Pelosi, who has led Democrats in the US House of Representatives for almost two decades, has announced she is standing down from the role.

The oldest and most influential Democrat in Congress, the 82-year-old is also the first female speaker of the House. In the lower house of Congress, she will continue to represent her California district. It happens at a time when projections indicate that Republicans will regain control of the House after the midterm elections.

After 20 years of leading the House Democrats and carving herself a reputation as one of the most influential and divisive personalities in American politics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she will step down from her leadership position.

The House Democrats, who will be in the minority next year despite a better-than-expected midterm election showing, will be led by the next generation thanks to Pelosi, the first and only woman to hold the office of speaker of the House.

Pelosi will be a tough act to follow

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi is praised for her track record of guiding her frequently split caucus through challenging times with limited opportunity for error, even by those who have previously clashed with her. A pandemic aid package, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation promoting the manufacturing of semi-conductive chips, a measure decreasing prescription drug costs, and a measure funding climate programs were all passed by the speaker with only a 5-seat majority.

The president congratulated Pelosi on her historic tenure, one that was made over four terms, according to the White House. “Me no because we’ve seen her in action during my career as Senator, Vice President, and now as President,” Biden said in a statement following her announcement.

Democrats now look to finally choose Pelosi’s successor

Within her own party, Pelosi’s prolonged dominance became a cause of contention. After the 2018 elections, she gained control of the party by promising her own members that she would step down as leader by 2022.

It’s time for a new chapter, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, who previously attempted to unseat Pelosi, told CNN.

She is a legendary speaker who has accomplished a tremendous amount, but many Democrats, in my opinion, are ready for a new chapter, said Moulton.

However, numerous Democrats applauded Pelosi and expressed their desire for her to continue as leader. Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, gripped his chest when asked about her choice and claimed he had begged her to stay.

Pelosi refused to tell reporters who she supported after her speech. While endorsing Jeffries to succeed Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn also announced they will step down from their leadership positions. Hoyer predicted that Jeffries “will make history for our nation and the institution of the House.” Clyburn continued by expressing his hope that Jeffries will be joined in the leadership of the House Democrats by Representatives Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California.

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