Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that she is stepping down from her Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives after two decades.
The 82-year-old powerful Democratic leader said she will continue to represent her California district in the House.
Addressing the House Democratic Caucus from the House Chambers, Pelosi said, “I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. 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.”
52-year-old New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is seen as the likely successor to Pelosi, according to reports.
The House Republican conference re-elected Kevin McCarthy to be its leader, putting him in line to be the next speaker of the House.
In 2007, Pelosi made history as the first woman Speaker of the Lower Chamber.
Her key legislative victories as House Speaker during the Biden administration are marked by the passage of a $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package known as the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the $750 billion health care, tax and climate bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
President Joe Biden said history will note Pelosi as the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her,” he said in a statement.
Despite a better-than-expected performance, Democrats could not retain majority in the midterm elections.
The Republican Party won 218 seats required for a simple majority in the House.
Democrats have won 210 seats. With three critical states still counting ballots, they are expected to improve their seat tally and pin the rivals to a razor-thin majority.
The Democratic Party narrowly holds the majority in the Senate, but an outcome in favor of the Republicans in the House will have a major impact on the remaining two years of Joe Biden’s presidency. GOP lawmakers will be able to effectively block Biden’s agenda and nearly every piece of legislation proposed by him in the Congress.
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