Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is opening the House floor session Thursday, and will announce whether she will remain leader of the House Democrats, or step back following the narrow defeat of Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Pelosi is undoubtedly also weighing her decision on her husband Paul’s recovery from an attack in the couple’s California home before the election, an assassination attempt in which she was the target. In a statement Wednesday evening, Pelosi congratulated her colleagues: “This year, House Democrats defied expectations with an excellent performance: running their races with courage, optimism and determination. In the next Congress, House Democrats will continue to play a leading role in supporting President Biden’s agenda—with strong leverage over a scant Republican majority.”
News: Number two Steny Hoyer will step down from Democratic leadership but remain in Congress. Hoyer is backing Rep. Hakim Jeffries (NY) for Democratic leaders, and “will aid the caucus/leadership in an advisory role if requested.”
And again. Totally and predictably crass and obnoxious.
An extremely emotional scene on the floor as all the Democrats continue to line up to speak with her, hug her, cry with her.
Now she’s enveloped by her colleagues. It would have been really great to have Pelosi in charge of making McCarthy’s life hell, but she’ll almost certainly be there in the background, helping that strategy.
She did not name a successor. “For me, the hours come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility. “
Historian Jon Meacham reportedly helped her craft this speech. It shows. It is grounded in history, it is reverent of that history but clear-eyed and cognizant of the challenges.
She will stay on as representative, step down from official leadership. “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 reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
She thanks her colleagues for their prayers and good wishes for her husband Paul, and even Republicans bring themselves to stand and applaud for that. Sustained applause.
“There is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor speaking for the people of San Francisco…. With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
“When I first came to the floor at six years old, never would I have thought that I would go from homemaker to House speaker,” Pelosi says. Her parents, she said, instilled in their children the importance of service. She speaks of the three presidents under which she’s served and their achievements, Bush, Obama, and Biden—entirely skipping Trump.
“We the people, one country, on destiny,” she applauds the changing face of Congress with people of color, with women. All Democrats stood and applauded for that. Tepid response from the GOP.
McCarthy is reportedly not in the chamber. Asshole.
“Democracy must forever be defended,” she says, alluding to the insurrection that happened “in this very chamber.” The people “resoundingly rejected violence and insurrection” she said, “giving proof thru the night that our flag is still there.”
“I stand before you as a . . . proud citizen of the greatest republic in the world.”
“All of use who have served in his conference have taken the hallowed oath,” listing the illustrious former members from Abe Lincoln through John Lewis.
Now Pelosi: “We’re standing on sacred ground,” she begins. Recounts her long history with the building, from her childhood when her father was first elected.
Still working through one minute speeches. But there have been one or two nice things, even from Republicans. Rep. Joe Wilson (SC) who is best known for yelling “you lie” at President Obama during a joint session actually respectfully wished her “godspeed.”
Still on one minutes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is in the chamber, so the vibe is very much that Pelosi will be stepping back.
Pelosi leading the morning regular business—prayer, journal approval, pledge of allegiance and announcing 1 minutes is very unusual. There will be a few minutes of these 1 minute speeches, then Pelosi will make her announcement.
Pelosi entered the chamber to loud applause and cheers, has taken the chair.
Pelosi reportedly took two speeches home with her last night, one announcing she was staying on as leader, one saying she was stepping back. We’ll see which she chose very soon.
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