Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that sheas leader of the House Democrats. The current House speaker made history as the first woman elected to the role in 2007.
Pelosi, who currently represents California’s 12th district, which includes a large portion of San Francisco, was first elected to Congress in 1987. She has led House Democrats for 19 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip.
The 82-year-old has served four non-consecutive terms as speaker, being elected to the role each time the Democrats have controlled the House since 2007. Here is a look back on her time as House speaker.
During her time as speaker, she focused on reforming healthcare. Under President Obama, Pelosi helped craft the Affordable Care Act, which helped provide affordable healthcare to more Americans, according to her biography. She also helped mobilize a nationwide campaign to support the ACA when Trump assumed office in 2017 and attempted to replace it with “Trumpcare.”
She has also helped pass several pieces of legislation on climate and energy, including American Clean Energy and Security Act in 2009, which creates clean energy jobs, combats the climate crisis and transition America to a clean energy economy. She recently delivered House passage of the Inflation Reduction Act – which puts the U.S. on a path to slash carbon pollution by 40% by 2030.
Pelosi also spearheaded the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The repeal allowed LGBTQ Americans to openly serve in the military. She also passed a law that protected LGBTQ people from hate crimes, called the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And she passed the Equality Act, which ensures the LGBTQ community has protections in workplace and elsewhere – twice in the House. It has been re-introduced after failing in the Senate.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pelosi negotiated with the Trump administration to secure relief for families and small businesses.
In 2019, she led the House in crafting and enacting the American Rescue Plan, which helped get vaccines and aid to Americans.
In 2015, as House Democratic Leader, Pelosi supported the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, which legalized same-sex marriage nationally. She also fought back against the Trump administration’s ban on transgender members of the military.
When she became House speaker in 2007, Pelosi condemned then-President George W. Bush’s plans to send more troops to Iraq. She and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote a letter to the president, saying, “like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution.”
At the same time, she disapproved of efforts to impeach Bush. The day after the midterm elections in 2006, Pelosi said impeachment was “off the table” for Bush. She also opposed the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Before Trump’s first impeach in 2019, Pelosi stuck to her anti-impeachment views, saying she was “not for impeachment,” according to the Associated Press. But by December 2019, Pelosi called for the drafting of letters of impeachment. “Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,”
The House speaker supported the second impeachment of Trump, after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Congress presented a motion that called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to convene the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Pelosi said if Pence did not respond, the House would proceed with articles of impeachment – which they did.
Pelosi is one of the most prolific Democratic fundraisers in Congress. Since she took over as House Minority Whip in 2002, she has raised over $1.25 billion for Demcoratic members of Congress, according to a party tally by The New York Times. More than $275 million of that has been in this cycle alone.
Since Pelosi joined Democratic leadership in 2002, there have been three Republican speakers. Republican Dennis Hastert was the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history, serving from 1999-2007 — less half the time Pelosi has served as Democratic leader. He resigned in 2007 when Democrats took the majority. John Boehner, who took over in 2011, resigned in 2015 amid constant Republican rebellions and his successor, Paul Ryan, retired in 2019 with the more divided ever.
As the Republican party splintered, Pelosi has stayed in charge of the Democratic party. In 2017, she quelled a rebellion among her members when Rep. Tim Ryan challenged her to become Minority Leader. She is famous for keeping her members in line, leading to many of the legislative accomplishments in her tenue and especially in the latest Congress, where she had one of the slimmest majorities in history.
Even former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Washington Post she was the “strongest speaker in history” given her “capacity to organize and muscle, with really narrow margins, which I would’ve thought impossible.”
During her time as speaker, she made many other personal and professional accomplishments. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
Weeks before she was first sworn in as speaker, Barbara Walters named Pelosi “Most Fascinating Person of the Year” for 2006. She was also on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women three times, and made Forbes’ first 50 over 50 list in 2021.
Pelosi has been awarded several honorary degrees from some of the nation’s top universities, most recently from Brown University in 2022.
She is a mother of five and has nine grandchildren – three of whom she welcomed during her time as speaker.
She not only was the first woman to become speaker, she also made history again in January 2019, when she regained the position, becoming the first person to do so in more than six decades.
Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-speaker-nancy-pelosi-will-not-seek-reelection-as-house-democrat-leader/