Biden hails Pelosi as ‘most consequential’ Speaker in US history after she announces her departure from leadership

Mr Biden noted that she’d seen Ms Pelosi ‘in action’ over the course of his long career as a senator, then as vice president and as president

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 17 November 2022 18:37 GMT
Nancy Pelosi steps down as Democratic leader after losing House

President Joe Biden on Thursday said House SpeakerNancy Pelosi would be remembered in the future as the “most consequential” leader of the lower House in US history after she announced that she would not stand for election to leadership of the House Democrats after more than two decades leading the Democratic caucus.

“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,” he said in a statement released just minutes after Ms Pelosi concluded remarks from the House floor.

Mr Biden noted that she’d seen Ms Pelosi “in action” over the course of his long career as a senator, then as vice president and as president, and called her “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, adding that she’d shepherded the landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act health care law through the House “with her sheer will,” and pushed to end the Clinton-era “Don’t ask / Don’t Tell” policy that kept openly LGBT+ Americans from serving in the US military. He also said Ms Pelosi had served as a leader “in defending democracy and advancing human rights around the world” and called her “a singular force” who’d secured “once-in-a-generation bills that will define our nation for decades to come” during his first two years in the White House.

“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,” he said. “She might be stepping down from her leadership role in the House Democratic Caucus, but she will never waiver in protecting our sacred democracy”.

Ms Pelosi, who has represented her San Francisco district since 1987, will remain in the House and is expected to serve for the entirety of the 118th Congress.

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