OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not campaign to be Democrat leader anymore, but she will stay as a member of Congress.
“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” the Speaker said on Thursday. “For me, the hour has 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.”
But the question has become who will replace her as the Democrat House Minority Leader when the new Congress convenes in January?
The favorite is Democrat New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
“Breaking: Leader Hoyer just announced he will NOT seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress. He, like Speaker Pelosi, will remain in Congress. AND he adds: ’I am proud to offer my strong endorsement to Hakeem Jeffries for Democratic Leader,’” reporter Kyle Griffin said.
Breaking: Leader Hoyer just announced he will NOT seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress. He, like Speaker Pelosi, will remain in Congress.
AND he adds: "I am proud to offer my strong endorsement to Hakeem Jeffries for Democratic Leader."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 17, 2022
But he has his own baggage as someone who questioned the validity of the 2016 election.
Hakeem Jeffries accused Trump of trying to steal the 2020 election before voting began.
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) November 17, 2022
The race to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats may have been clinched at a meeting in the Capitol on Sept. 1. That’s when House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York slipped back to Washington to connect in Clyburn’s office during the summer congressional recess at Jeffries’ request. Jeffries, the fifth-ranking House Democrat who aspires to be the first-ranking House Democrat in the next Congress, was picking up heightened chatter from colleagues about California Rep. Adam Schiff’s outreach expressing his own interest in the top caucus job.
“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” House Majority Whip and Democrat South Carlina Rep. Jim Clyburn said. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”
House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer was considered someone who could challenge Rep. Jeffries but he has declined.
“I believe that it is time for me, however, to continue my service in a different role. Therefore, I have decided not to seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress,” he said to the Democrats.
“I have been honored to serve alongside Nancy Pelosi, whose tenure as Speaker was both historic and extraordinarily productive,” he said.
“You know when Nancy said there is a time and a season? I think it’s a time and a season. And I think we have excellent alternatives,” he said.
President Joe Biden spoke to Speaker Pelosi on Thursday, The White House said.
“When I think of Nancy Pelosi, I think of dignity,” the president said.
“History will note she is the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history. There are countless examples of how she embodies the obligation of elected officials to uphold their oath to God and country to ensure our democracy delivers and remains a beacon to the world. In everything she does, she reflects a dignity in her actions and a dignity she sees in the lives of the people of this nation.
“In 2007, she made history as the first woman Speaker, but that was just the beginning of the history she has made during her four terms. I know because I’ve seen her in action during my career as Senator, Vice President, and now as President. With Nancy, you see a father’s daughter who learned by his side how to win and govern. 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 said.
“History will record her leadership with President Obama to rescue the economy in crisis from the Great Recession. With her sheer will, passing the Affordable Care Act to ensure health care is a right not a privilege. Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell so patriotic Americans can serve the country they love no matter who they love. The list goes on, including her leadership in defending democracy and advancing human rights around the world.
“In the first two years of my presidency, she is a singular force securing once-in-a-generation bills that will define our nation for decades to come. The American Rescue Plan to get us through COVID-19. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to rebuild our roads and bridges. The CHIPS and Science Act to ensure the most advanced manufacturing is done here in America. The most significant gun safety law in nearly thirty years – for the children. One of the most significant bills helping veterans and their families exposed to toxic materials. And, the Inflation Reduction Act that took on Big Pharma and won, and reflects the most aggressive action ever to tackle the climate crisis,” the president said.
“Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her. That’s Nancy – always working for the dignity of all of the people. And, as a fierce defender of democracy through our laws, history will also note her fierceness and resolve to protect our democracy from the violent, deadly insurrection of January 6th. It’s a threat of political violence and intimidation that continues and she and her family know all too well, but that will never stop her from serving our nation.
“She might be stepping down from her leadership role in the House Democratic Caucus, but she will never waiver in protecting our sacred democracy,” he said.
“Nancy Pelosi is first, last, and always for the people. Jill and I count Nancy, Paul, and their family among our dearest friends. As a nation, we owe her a deep debt of gratitude for her service, her patriotism, and above all, her absolute dignity,” he said.