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Nancy Pelosi ends historic run as US Democratic leader after nearly 20 years

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US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not seek re-election for a leadership role within the House of Representatives after nearly 20 years at the helm. Pelosi has led House Democrats since 2003, including two four-year stints as speaker.

 

Her announcement comes after Democrats narrowly lost the majority in the chamber during the midterm elections.

 

“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” said Pelosi said on Thursday, November 17.

 

“For me, the hour has 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.”

 

“There is no greater special honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco. This I will continue to do as a member of the House speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California and defending our Constitution,” she continued.

The 82-year-old Californian made the announcement on the House floor.

Speculation had grown in recent days about Pelosi’s future after her husband, Paul, was violently attacked at their San Francisco home and Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

The California lawmaker did not announce who should replace her in the top leadership position.

During the 20-year period Pelosi has served in leadership, several Democratic rising stars and would-be successors have lost re-election or left Congress to pursue other possibilities.

Pelosi’s two stints as speaker, from 2007-11 and 2019 to present, have seen Democrats accomplish big goals, but also face electoral repercussions.

During the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Pelosi was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act and an economic stimulus bill.

While Pelosi’s actions were heralded by Democrats, voters gave the party a massive rout in the 2010 elections. Democrats lost 63 seats, handing the House to Republicans until 2018.

In her second stint as speaker, Pelosi fought against President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

She will be more remembered for her opposition to Trump’s political agenda which culminated in two impeachment efforts. The first, over Trump’s alleged calls for Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the country, ended with an acquittal in the Senate.

The second impeachment effort, over Trump allegedly provoking a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, ended the same way.

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