- President Joe Biden heralded Nancy Pelosi as “the most consequential” House speaker in US history.
- Pelosi announced she will not seek re-election to her leadership post but will continue to represent her House district.
- “As a nation, we owe her a deep debt of gratitude,” Biden said in a statement.
President Joe Biden heralded Nancy Pelosi as “the most consequential” House speaker in US history after she announced her decision to not seek re-election to her Democratic leadership post but to stay on to represent her San Francisco district.
Her decision to retire from leadership next Congress follows Biden’s reported overture for her to stay in her role: “I hope you stick,” Biden told her in a phone call after the midterm elections, POLITICO reported.
But Pelosi announced that it was time to pass the torch to a new generation following elections that delivered a slim House majority to Republicans and a personal tragedy, in which her husband Paul was seriously injured in a home invasion. During her speech on Thursday, Pelosi said she enjoyed working with three presidents, omitting former President Donald Trump from her list.
Biden called Pelosi on Thursday morning to congratulate her on her “historic tenure,” according to the White House.
—President Biden (@POTUS) November 17, 2022
In his statement, Biden credited Pelosi’s “absolute dignity,” adding: “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.”
He also celebrated her work to pass the Affordable Care Act, end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” restrictions on gay military service members, and her efforts during his own administration to secure “once-in-a-generation bills that will define our nation for decades to come.” Among them are measures to provide COVID relief, infrastructure improvements, reduce prescription drug costs, boost semiconductor manufacturing, and promote gun safety.
Biden said history will note “her fierceness and resolve” to protect democracy during the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
“She might be stepping down from her leadership role in the House Democratic Caucus, but she will never waiver in protecting our sacred democracy,” Biden said. “Nancy Pelosi is first, last, and always for the people.”