House Speaker Pelosi to stay in Congress but not seek Democratic Party leadership role


November 18, 2022


House Speaker Pelosi to stay in Congress but not seek Democratic Party leadership role

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks on the House floor at the Capitol in Washington/Photo: AP

WASHINGTON: Nancy Pelosi, the only woman to ever be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced that she would remain in Congress as Republicans take control of the chamber in January, but not seek a Democratic leadership position, ending her two-decade run as the party’s leader.

In an emotional 15-minute speech on the House floor, the 82-year-old Pelosi recalled the highlights of her 35 years in the House, including eight as a speaker, but said, “Now we must move boldly into the future. The hour has come for a new generation” to lead the Democratic caucus.

She has long been a cherished figure among her fellow Democrats but reviled and disparaged by many Republicans who intensely dislike her progressive political views characteristic of what many say is the most liberal city in America, San Francisco, California, which she represents in the House.

Democrats in the House chamber cheered as she recalled the increase in the number of Democratic women in the House, from 12 in 1987 when she first became a House member to more than 90 today, and the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of her party’s caucus.

But Democrats and Republicans alike gave her a standing ovation when she paid tribute to her husband, Paul Pelosi, still recovering at their home in San Francisco after an intruder, specifically asking where she was, recently broke into their home and then bashed his head with a hammer, fracturing his skull.

Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the post-midnight attack; the suspect is facing an array of criminal charges.

After her address, countless Democrats warmly embraced her on the House floor, including the Senate Majority Leader, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, a longtime ally in policy disputes with Republicans.

Shortly afterwards, Schumer acknowledged Pelosi’s accomplishments on the Senate floor.

“Few in American history have been as effective, as driven, as successful as Speaker Pelosi. She’s transformed practically every corner of American politics and unquestionably made America a better, stronger nation,” he said.