Nancy Pelosi Finished

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday (November 17), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her tenure was ending.

Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for the last two decades, took to the House floor to announce she would be stepping down from the role as leader, bringing to an end the Pelosi era.

Her decision clears the way for younger up-and-coming lawmakers to ascend the ranks of leadership.

Pelosi’s announcement follows Republicans reclaiming the House majority, a win that would mean she would be out as House Speaker when the new Congress sits in January.

However, Pelosi isn’t out of Congress. Her influence could still shape whoever assumes the role of Democratic leader next as Pelosi plans to be in Congress indefinitely and mentor whoever replaces her.

Pelosi’s announcement was also a display of how the partisan divide has widened in the lower chamber of Congress in recent years.

Democrats packed their side of the House floor while the Republican side remained virtually, bar a handful of GOP lawmakers who availed themselves to hear Pelosi draw the curtain on 20 years of leadership.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) wasn’t in attendance, blaming his lack of availability on meetings. Steve Scalise (R-LA.), the Minority Whip, was the only one among the GOP’s House leadership to make an appearance. Others in attendance from the GOP included Reps. Young Kim (CA.), Doug LaMalfa (CA.), Joe Wilson (S.C.), and Tim Burchett (Tenn.).

Pelosi’s announcement also ended speculation that she could run to be Speaker again, given the marginal majority Republicans have, despite a promise to step down at the end of this term.

However, Pelosi pointed more to the incident involving her husband as the deciding factor, more than anything else.