Nancy Pelosi steps down as House Democratic leader after two decades

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she is stepping down as leader of the House Democrats after Republicans won the majority in last week’s midterm elections.

Pelosi, speaking on the House floor, said she will remain a member of Congress and serve out the term to which she was just elected.

“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic Congress that I so deeply respect,” Pelosi said. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”



U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) issued the following statement on the decision of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the 52nd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first woman ever elected to serve as Speaker of the House, to continue to serve the people of the 12th District but no longer serve in House leadership.

“I congratulate Speaker Pelosi on her remarkable, historic, trailblazing career. She is a great American patriot who will go down in history as one of the most effective and consequential lawmakers of this or any other era. While there will be many more women who lead the U.S. House of Representatives in the future, Nancy Pelosi will always be the first Madame Speaker. She broke that barrier and leaves a legacy of service, principled leadership, and immense contribution to the nation.

“On so many issues – climate change, our Intelligence Community, health care, education, Wall Street reform, equal pay, the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act — Speaker Pelosi was a driving force that not only compelled progress, but brought it to the floor for a vote, and built the coalitions to get it across the finish line.

“We wish her and her husband Paul — who continues to recover from that brutal, cowardly attack on their home — and the entire Pelosi family all the best.

“Thank you, Madame Speaker, for a lifetime of faithful service and for making America a better place for all.”

Pelosi has led the House Democrats since 2003, including two four-year stints as speaker. 

Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) released the following statement after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she will step down from House Democratic leadership.

“Today is a bittersweet day for our country as we mark the end of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus. I have been lucky enough to serve with and learn from one of the greatest political minds in our country for the past twelve years and am honored to call her a mentor, and most importantly, a close friend. I remain in constant awe of her brilliance, toughness, and dedication to service. Nancy Pelosi led our party to the majority twice and saw our country through some of the toughest times in our nation’s history including the COVID pandemic and the attack on our democracy on January 6, 2021.

“Speaker Pelosi’s historic career will not just be remembered for the barriers she broke but also for the incredible progress she delivered for the American people and her beloved San Francisco.

“Under her leadership, we reformed the American healthcare system, delivering accessible and affordable care to millions of Americans, we made the largest investment in infrastructure improvements and climate change mitigation in our history, ensured that every single American got the relief they needed and deserved as we faced a once in a lifetime global pandemic, and protected our democracy against those who sought to overturn the election result and destroy the very fabric of our nation.

“Speaker Pelosi has always supported my work since I first came to Congress in 2011 and has been a steadfast ally on gun safety legislation and LGBTQ+ equality. I am also grateful for the trust she placed in me to serve as an impeachment manager following the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“In addition to our work in Washington, I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming her to Rhode Island many times, where her grandparents first met, and am thankful for her focus on delivering for every American and all Rhode Islanders.

“Having come from big, loving Italian families, we both learned from a young age the importance of putting family first and looking after our neighbors. We share a commitment and belief that every hardworking American deserves the ability to provide a safe, warm home for their children and the opportunity to get ahead. She has helped to deliver monumental legislation to empower Americans, including the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, providing paid parental leave for federal workers, expanding educational opportunities and student aid, and increasing the minimum wage.

“An outspoken proponent of equality, she has been a champion of the Equality Act and the Respect for Marriage Act and led the repeal of the homophobic ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy to finally allow every member of our nation’s military to serve fully as themselves.

“Her trailblazing 35-year tenure in Congress, 19 of those as our Caucus’s leader, have been defined by her unwavering commitment to service, the American people, and belief that each of us deserves the chance to live our own American Dream.

“I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership, her friendship, and commitment to the Democratic Caucus, our Congress, and, most admirably, service to the American people. I continue to wish her husband Paul a full and easy recovery so that he, the Speaker, and the rest of their family can enjoy this next chapter.”

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