It’s the end of an era for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who has been in the House since 1987. Pelosi made the somewhat expected announcement early Thursday afternoon, announcing she was retiring after having the honor of serving under three presidents, when in fact she served under four, intentionally disregarding former President Donald Trump her former ‘boss’ as one of the four total presidents she served under, not three.
While this is welcome news to conservatives across the country and GOP leadership, Pelosi’s reign isn’t over yet.
“My friends, no matter what title you all, my colleagues, have bestowed upon me, speaker, leader, whip, there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco,” Pelosi, 82, said in a speech on the House floor.
“This I will continue to do as a member of the House, speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California, and defending our constitution. And with great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
According to the Daily Mail, Democrats were eagerly awaiting news of Pelosi’s future, which comes in the wake of Republicans taking the majority in the House and her husband Paul recovering from being attacked by a hammer.
There had been talk Pelosi would Congress in a sort of emeritus role that would give her an advisor status – both to Democrats in the House and to President Joe Biden – but would step down from formal leadership, allowing a younger generation of lawmakers to take charge.
“For me the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the democratic caucus that I so deeply respect. And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility,” Pelosi said.
She also mentioned that, during her time as speaker, she had worked with three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. She notably left out Donald Trump, with whom she had an antagonistic relationship, the Daily Mail reported.
Democrats on the House floor swarmed the soon-to-be former Speaker of the House, upon the conclusion of her retirement announcement, giving her hugs and kisses as a show of appreciation for her and her government service.
It was surprising to see that California Democratic Rep. Eric Swawell brought his young daughter to witness Pelosi’s announcement. Swalwell gave his young daughter a big hug upon hearing the Speaker say she was leaving her post.
Among those within her own party congratulating Pelosi on her service and subsequent retirement, was her long-time close ally in the Senate, Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
The Democratic side of the House was filled to the brim with lawmakers and staff. The Republican side was notably empty with less than a dozen seats filled. The GOP’s Number Two leader, Steve Scalise, was there and gave her a standing ovation. There was no sight of the Republicans’ top leader, Kevin McCarthy, the Daily Mail noted.
In her remarks, Pelosi thanked her family and particularly mentioned her husband, who is recovering in Pelosi’s crime-ridden San Francisco district.
“For my dear husband Paul, who has been my beloved partner in life and my pillar of support, we’re all grateful for all the prayers that well wishes as he continues his recovery. Thank you so much,” she said.
House Democrats gave Pelosi a standing ovation upon her entrance to the chamber as she embarked the lecture to make her announcement. Members of her party packed the seats into the aisles, whooping and cheering as she approached the floor.
The Daily Mail reported:
First elected by Democrats as their leader in 2003, she as served at the top of the leadership since then – for a total of 29 years.
In her remarks, Pelosi described how she saw the Capitol for the first time when she was six years old, when her father was elected to Congress.
She also referred to the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, tying it to last last week’s midterm election, when Republicans won the House majority but Democrats prevented a red wave election.
‘American democracy is majestic. But it is fragile. Many of us here have witnessed its fragility firsthand, tragically in this chamber,’ Pelosi said.
‘Last week the American people spoke, and their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law, and of democracy itself. With these elections the people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy. They resoundingly rejected violence and insurrection. And in doing so gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,’ she said.
When Pelosi arrived at the Capitol on Thursday morning, she gave no indication of her decision.