House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has destroyed the so-called “marble ceiling” in Congress during her two-decade career as an executive in these halls.
Her career was a first – the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives – and she held a particularly high-profile position during some of the most important and often volatile moments in recent American political history.
Her tenure included the Iraq War, a financial crisis “from the depths of Hell” as Pelosi later described it, sweeping legislation regulating Wall Street, expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and the repeal of the “Don The US military’s ‘t ask, don’t tell’ policy toward gay men serving in the armed forces.
She was the first speaker to initiate two impeachment proceedings against the same incumbent President Donald Trump, including for his role in instigating the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 during the vote count to win Joe Biden in the presidential election to be confirmed in 2020. Pelosi joined with other leaders to reconvene Congress that evening to complete the count. Both impeachments fell along party lines and he was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate.
Their central role in these particularly bitter moments in recent political history often drew the ire of opponents and made them the target of criticism and physical threats. Prosecutors said the recent attack on Paul Pelosi, her husband, at the couple’s San Francisco home was politically motivated.
Ultimately, however, her decision to step down focused on making room for a new generation of leaders.
Here’s a look at Pelosi’s career and its impact on this story.
Pelosi broke the marble ceiling
One of the highlights of Pelosi’s career would come in 2006, when she led House Democrats to reclaim a majority from Republicans, who had controlled the chamber since the 1994 GOP election. The war in Iraq had angered the nation, and a series of lobbying and ethics scandals gave Democrats a platform to fight a “culture of corruption” in Washington, DC, with popular promises to “drain the swamp.” .
It worked. The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives by making big promises to change the way Washington worked. “The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty to Washington, DC, and the Democrats intend to conduct the most honest, open and ethical Congress in history,” Pelosi said the day after the election.
In 2007, after serving in other party leadership positions, she became the first woman elected by her peers to be Speaker of the House of Representatives, forever securing her place in history for covering the “marble ceiling” of the previous male-dominated leadership of the congress. She did it again in 2019, becoming the first speaker to lose and regain the gavel since legendary Congressman Sam Rayburn.
Pelosi’s position spanned four presidencies
Pelosi ended up serving in her two rounds as a speaker alongside four presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Trump, and Biden — two Republicans she deeply despised and two Democrats who could not have accomplished so much without her.
She was one of Bush’s most prominent critics in Congress during a scandalous era on Capitol Hill coupled with a deepening Iraq war, the aftermath of government mismanagement by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and a near-collapse in the 2008 financial crisis bless him. bless his heart The President of the United States, a total failure. Losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on the energy, you name the issue,” she said of Bush in 2008.
But Pelosi, who often boasted of being a “master lawmaker,” also worked with the Bush administration to keep foreign wars funded — often to the chagrin of the party’s liberal base — and reliably provided Democratic votes on must-pass when needed -laws .
As a speaker, Pelosi served as a critical ally of the nation’s first black president, Obama, and together enacted one of their signature legislative achievements, the landmark Affordable Care Act of 2010, which brought the nation closer to health care for all Americans.
She led Trump’s two impeachment trials in the House of Representatives, the first with some hesitation about how it would divide the nation because Trump had pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate the Biden family, and the second with great enthusiasm for Trump’s role inciting a January 6, 2021 riot in the US Capitol during the counting of the electoral vote to secure Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Trump was acquitted by the Senate on both counts.
Under both the Trump and Biden administrations, Pelosi helped legislate trillions in new spending and government programs during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and beyond as part of public health and economic recovery efforts.
Pelosi has been able to help the Marshal through the House to provide trillions of dollars in COVID relief aid.
When the Democrats lost the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, Pelosi finally did what most Democrats had expected of her a decade earlier and resigned from the party leadership and has vowed to serve in the House of Representatives.
“History will find that she is the most consistent Speaker of the House in our history,” President Biden said when she stepped down from the leadership in November 2022, who lauded her as “a unique force securing one-off bills that will be ours.” define the nation for decades to come.”
Unlike other lawmakers running for Congress, Pelosi never harbored political ambitions beyond speakership. From the day she first laid the gavel on the floor of the house, she knew she had earned her place in history as a female political icon.
“To our daughters and granddaughters: today we broke the marble ceiling,” Pelosi said in 2007. “For our daughters and granddaughters, the sky is the limit now—for them anything is possible.”
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