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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Steps Down from House Democratic Leadership

PHOTO: Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that she will not lead the Democratic Party in the House after serving in the role for two decades.

Taniesa L. Sullivan | The Weekly Ledger News | Combine Sources

WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday announced she is stepping down from congressional Democratic leadership.

Pelosi entered the House chamber at noon wearing a white suit, a color she and other women in Congress have embraced for past major events due to its association with the suffragist movement.

Pelosi the first woman to serve as speaker received a lengthy standing ovation from Democrats and was met with celebration by conservatives on her decision not to seek re-election.

"The Pelosi era is over. Good riddance!" Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted.

Mark Levin, conservative radio host and host of "Life, Liberty, and Levin" on Fox News, criticized the press and politicians for honoring Pelosi's career through rose-tinted glasses.

"Nancy Pelosi is shown bi-partisan respect and media fawning despite her wretched reign over the House. She was no uniter. She never demonstrated respect for our system. She always had a nasty comment. So, the rewriting of her true legacy begins already. A sham," Levin tweeted.

PHOTO: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during an event where President Biden will sign H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

J. Bradford Williams, a conservative commentator and founder of "thebradfordfile," pointed out that throughout Pelosi's time in the House of Representatives, she has enriched herself.

"Nancy Pelosi has spent 35 years amassing a $200 million fortune at the expense of the people. She is everything that is wrong with ‘public service’ in America," he wrote.

PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauds President Donald Trump during a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Doug Mills/Pool via Bloomberg)

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, criticized Pelosi for weaponizing the power of her office to target her political opponents.

"Nancy Pelosi is the only House Speaker in history to abuse her office to try to jail her party's political enemies," Fitton said.

The Jan. 6 Committee, created under Pelosi's leadership, has taken unprecedented steps to refer former Trump administration officials to the Department of Justice after they declined a subpoena to participate in the committee's investigations.

PHOTO: A split photo of former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Mesa, Arizona, on Oct. 9, 2022, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6, 2009. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

"Nancy Pelosi not being speaker anymore makes the 2022 election cycle a huge win for Republicans," Tim Young, a conservative author, and comedian wrote after Pelosi's announcement.

During her tenure, Pelosi passed President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, denied congressional funding to President Donald Trump's border wall, presided over two impeachments of Trump that failed to lead to his removal from office, and secured the passage of much of President Biden's legislative agenda during the first half of his administration.

On Wednesday evening, Republicans clinched a narrow majority of seats in the House with a victory in California, ending two years of Democratic control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. Democrats will continue to control the Senate.

PHOTO: Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, is a leading contender to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York is seen as the front-runner to lead the caucus now that Pelosi is stepping aside. He had been holding meetings with colleagues and testing their support, according to lawmakers and aides. Another potential candidate, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, has taken himself out of the running.

PHOTO: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 16, 2019. Hoyer also steps down in retirement.

Pelosi’s exit will set off a shake-up in top Democratic ranks not seen in years. Minutes after she announced her departure, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), 83 years old, also announced he wouldn’t seek a leadership role but would stay in Congress.

According to two people familiar with the plans, Jeffries will run to be minority leader, Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.) will run for whip and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D., Calif.) will run to be caucus chair. Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.), who is currently the No. 3 in the party, will remain in leadership as assistant leader.

In a statement, Clyburn endorsed Jeffries, Clark, and Aguilar for the top roles, but didn’t say whether he would seek a post.

Pelosi said she would continue to represent her district. “There is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco,” she said.

PHOTO: Kevin McCarthy (R. Calif.) wins GOP nomination for speaker of the house.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) is set to take over from Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress if he can keep his caucus mostly united. For years, Pelosi was a political target for Republicans, who campaigned in many areas with the slogan “fire Pelosi” and regularly referenced her in attack ads.

“It’s official. One-party Democrat rule in Washington is finished. We have fired Nancy Pelosi,” said Mr. McCarthy on Fox News on Wednesday.

Headed into the election, Republicans had been heavily favored to win the House, due to voter concerns about the economy and crime, as well as President Biden’s low approval ratings and the historical tendency of the party that controls the White House to lose seats in the midterms. While the GOP did win the majority, their gains were less than expected, which analysts and lawmakers attributed to independent voters’ concerns over abortion access as well as Republicans’ messaging on issues such as election fraud and the influence of former President Donald Trump.

The results were seen as potentially changing the calculation for Democratic leaders’ plans, as the minority could potentially have greater power in a narrowly controlled chamber.

In a statement, President Biden described her as the “most consequential speaker” in the nation’s history. “With her leading the way, you never worry about whether a bill will pass. If she says she has the votes, she has the votes. Every time.”

She clashed repeatedly with Trump, at one point dramatically tearing up the text of his State of the Union speech at the conclusion of his address. Under her leadership, Democrats impeached him twice; he was acquitted in the Senate.

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