House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stepping down from House Democratic leadership but will remain in Congress. The 82-year-old Pelosi made the announcement in a floor speech on Thursday, and received a standing ovation from her colleagues. Noting she will continue to represent her San Francisco, California district, Pelosi said: "I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect." She later tweeted: "Thank you all — and may God continue to bless the United States of America."
Pelosi was the the first woman to hold House speakership, and is the Democratic Party's longest-serving House leader. Her decision will have a major impact on Democrats in their new position as House minority. Republicans officially won majority control in the U.S. House, ending a four-year Democratic majority despite a strong midterm showing for the party. As of Thursday morning, Republicans had captured 218 seats in the chamber compared to Democrats 211.
The announcement comes weeks after her husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked in their family home in California, a crime believed to be politically motivated. Pelosi had said the attack on her husband Paul would impact her decision to stay in House leadership post-midterms.
President Joe Biden said of Pelosi in a statement: "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. In everything she does, she reflects a dignity in her actions and a dignity she sees in the lives of the people of this nation."
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