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Pelosi won’t seek new term as House Democratic chief, stepping aside after 2 decades

Washington — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who made historical past as the primary girl to serve within the function, is not going to seek one other term as Democratic chief, she stated Thursday, bringing an finish to 2 decades as head of the Democratic caucus as the celebration prepares to relinquish its majority.

Pelosi will stay within the House after profitable a nineteenth term final week, assuming a lower-profile function when the subsequent Congress convenes in January. 

“Now we must move boldly into the future, grounded by the principles that have propelled us this far and open to fresh possibility for the future,” Pelosi stated, including, “with great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.”

Pelosi started her remarks recalling seeing the U.S. Capitol for the primary time as a 6-year-old, calling it a “temple of our democracy, of our Constitution, of our highest ideals,” and paying homage to the good Americans who served within the Congress earlier than her.

“American democracy is majestic, but it is fragile,” she stated. “Democracy must be forever defended from forces that wishes it harm.”

The determination by Pelosi to clear the way in which for a new era of lawmakers to run the caucus places an finish to months of hypothesis about her political future. It additionally follows the violent assault on her husband Paul Pelosi, of which Pelosi herself was the goal, at their San Francisco residence final month, which the speaker told CNN would affect whether or not she would step aside.

The California Democrat, sporting a white swimsuit, the colour typically worn by suffragists, was greeted with applause when she entered the House chamber at midday to open the session. Dozens of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues gathered within the House chamber for her remarks, as effectively as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. One Republican, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, provided a nod to Pelosi as he concluded temporary feedback on the House ground earlier than her speech, saying, “Godspeed, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

It was unclear heading into Thursday what determination Pelosi had made, and she or he took two variations of her speech residence together with her Wednesday night time, a supply accustomed to the matter stated. The speaker declined to answer questions on her plans when arriving on the Capitol Thursday morning.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discusses future plans on Capitol Hill in Washington
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks via Statuary Hall as she arrives to announce her future plans in Congress on Nov. 17, 2022.

JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS


Since her election to Congress in 1987, Pelosi has risen via the ranks of House Democratic management, serving as minority whip — her election to that position made Pelosi the highest-ranking girl in congressional historical past — after which House Democratic chief, a job she has held since 2003.

In 2007, she made historical past as the primary girl to be elected speaker of the House when Democrats took the bulk. She has served 4 nonconsecutive phrases as speaker since, uniting an typically fractious Democratic caucus to go a few of the most consequential laws in latest historical past underneath the Obama and Biden administrations.

For Republicans, her unabashed pursuit of liberal priorities made her a handy foil on the marketing campaign path, and GOP candidates have focused her in assault adverts for years. She was additionally a staunch opponent of former President Donald Trump, overseeing each House impeachment proceedings towards him. Their fractured relationship was memorably on show after Trump’s State of the Union handle in 2020, after which Pelosi tore up a replica of his remarks.

Her fractured relationship with Trump was on show throughout her speech, as she highlighted the legislative achievements of Bush, Obama and Mr. Biden, with no point out of the forty fifth president

Pelosi mirrored on the altering demographics of the House membership over her greater than three decades in Congress, highlighting the rise in ladies serving however noting, “we want more.”

“I have seen this body grow more reflective of our great nation, our beautiful nation,” she stated. 

While Pelosi said in 2018 that she would restrict her term as Democratic chief to 4 years, a pledge that appeased sufficient members of her celebration to safe the speaker’s gavel as soon as extra, she has been pushed to rethink after the “red wave” anticipated for Republicans didn’t occur.

The speaker informed CNN on Sunday that her Democratic colleagues had requested her to “consider” operating within the caucus’ management elections, set to start on the finish of the month, however she stated any determination on whether or not to take action shall be “rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus.”

Mr. Biden additionally requested Pelosi to remain in office, telling the California Democrat after she gained her personal reelection bid that “I hope you stick,” according to Politico.

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