After the Republicans narrowly took the U.S. House of Representatives, current Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to step away from House leadership on Thursday.
President Joe Biden said in a statement, per Politico: “History will note she is the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history. There are countless examples of how she embodies the obligation of elected officials to uphold their oath to God and country to ensure our democracy delivers and remains a beacon to the world.”
Pelosi served as the first and only female speaker of the House up to this point. She was the top leader of the House Democratic Caucus for the last 20 years, per CNN.
Why did Nancy Pelosi step away from House leadership?
In 2018, she “pledged to limit herself to four more years as her party’s leader,” per The New York Times.
Some Democratic leaders have argued against keeping the same leaders in place for so long. In a letter, 16 Democrats stated that “the time has come for new leadership,” The New York Times reported.
Currently, there are three leaders who are over 80 years old who lead the House.
“She’s a historic speaker who’s accomplished an incredible amount, but I also think there are a lot of Democrats ready for a new chapter,” Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton told CNN.
Who could replace Nancy Pelosi as leader of House Democrats?
According to The Washington Post, some of the possible replacements for Pelosi include:
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
- Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass.
- Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.
- House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.
- House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C.