Pelosi set to step down from US House leadership, passing to a new generation

Pelosi set to step down from US House leadership, passing to a new generation

WASHINGTON--Nancy Pelosi, the trailblazing Democrat who as the first woman U.S. House of Representatives speaker shepherded landmark legislation and led two impeachments, said on Thursday she will give up her leadership role a day after Republicans secured control of the chamber.


Pelosi's allies quickly rallied around Representative Hakeem Jeffries as her likely successor as the top House Democrat while Republicans prepared to install a speaker from their party who is expected to impede President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Her replacement will have to unite fractious House Democrats torn between centrists and an increasingly vocal left flank.
An 82-year-old California liberal, Pelosi made her announcement during a speech on the House floor - drawing applause from Democrats even as many Republicans decided not to attend. She said she will not retire from the House but continue to represent San Francisco as she has done for 35 years.
"For me, the hour's come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect. And I'm grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility," said Pelosi, who has served as the top House Democrat for two decades and speaker from 2007-2011 and again from 2019 until the present.
Pelosi played a central role in shepherding the legislative agenda of two Democratic presidents through Congress, even as she was vilified by many conservatives. She helped pass President Barack Obama's signature 2010 healthcare law as well as expansions of infrastructure and climate spending and gun regulations under Biden. She also presided as the House impeached Republican President Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021.
Biden in a statement called Pelosi "the most consequential speaker of the House of Representatives in our history."
House Democrats are set to vote on their leaders on Nov. 30. Jeffries, of New York, would be the first Black lawmaker to lead one of the major parties' caucuses in Congress. The No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, endorsed Jeffries for the top leadership post and decided not to seek a leadership role in the next Congress.
Jeffries, 52, declined to comment on his plans, telling reporters: "Today is a day to celebrate the speakership of Nancy Pelosi."
Following last week's midterm elections, Republicans on Wednesday finally nailed down a slim majority in the House for the next Congress to be sworn in on Jan. 3 and offered initial support for Kevin McCarthy, who has had chilly relations with Pelosi, to serve as speaker. McCarthy did not attend Pelosi's speech.

The Daily Herald

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