Nancy Pelosi Steps Down As House Democratic Leader: ‘The Hour’s Come For A New Generation To Lead’

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Image Credit: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would step down as the leader of the Democratic party in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, November 17. Pelosi, who’s been a congresswoman since 1987, announced that she would not be the House Minority Leader in the next Congress. “I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. For me the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus,” she said.

After announcing that she’d step down, Pelosi thanked many people, including her fellow members of Congress. “Standing here today, I’m endlessly grateful for all of life’s blessings. For my Democratic colleagues whose courage and commitment with the support of your families have made many of these accomplishments possible, in fact, could not have been done without you,” she said.

Pelosi also thanked her children and her husband Paul Pelosi, who she called a “pillar of support.” She also thanked her colleagues for their support, after he was the victim of a home invasion attack. “Thank you. We’re all grateful for all the prayers and well wishes as he continues his recovery. Thank you so much,” she said to extended applause.

Earlier in her speech, Pelosi spoke about how important the role that lawmakers hold is for the future. “Babies born today will live into the next century, and our decisions will determine their future for generations to come. While we will have our disagreements on policy, we must remain fully committed to our shared fundamental mission: to hold strong to our most treasured Democratic ideals to cherish the spark of divinity in each and every one of us and to always put our country first,” she said.

Before announcing that she would step down, the House Speaker reflected on how much the House has changed since she first took office. “It’s been my great pride in my 35 years in the House, I have seen this body grow more reflective of our great nation, our beautiful nation,” she said. “When I came to the Congress in 1987, there were 12 Democratic women. Now, there are over 90, and we want more. The new members of our Democratic Caucus will be about 75 percent women, people of color, and LGBTQ, and we have brought more voices to the decision-making table.”

Pelosi reflected on the changes to Congress in her speech. (JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In addition to showing how happy she is with the changes, Pelosi shared early memories of seeing the Capitol as a child and reflected on the accomplishments she helped with under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. 

A number of different Democrats are in the mix to take over as the head of the House Democratic Caucus. It was reported that California Representative Adam Schiff was in talks to seek election according to The Washington Post. Other candidates being considered included Reps. Steny H. Moyer (MD), James E. Clyburn (SC), and Hakeem Jeffries (NY).

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