House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday she would “not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress” but would continue as a member of the House “to speak for the people of San Francisco.”
In a heartfelt speech in which Pelosi received several standing ovations from her Democratic colleagues—and even one in which her Republican colleagues joined in when she mentioned her husband Paul enduring and surviving last month’s violent attack that left him with a fractured skull–Pelosi invoked Lincoln’s plea to appeal to the “better angels of our nature.”
She also celebrated the evolution of the House during her 35-year tenure. She noted that when she joined the Congress in 1987 there were 12 Democratic women. “Now there are over 90,” she said, “and we want more!”
She added, “The new members of our Democratic caucus will be about 75% women, people of color, and LGBTQ. We have brought more voices to the decision-making table. When I entered leadership in 2002, there were eight of us. Today, there are 17 members of the leadership.”
Pelosi ended her speech saying, “A new day is dawning on the horizon, and I look forward, always forward, to the unfolding story of our nation, a story of light and love, of patriotism and progress, of many becoming one, and always an unfinished nation to make the dreams of today the reality of tomorrow.”
On Wednesday evening, Republicans were projected to win majority of the House of Representatives when the 118th Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2023, having flipped the five seats in the midterm elections necessary to wrest control from Democrats.