Updated Nov 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers laud Pelosi's run as House Democratic leader

ouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives to the U.S. Capitol Building on November 17, 2022 in Washington, DC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives to the Capitol on Nov. 17 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Reactions from lawmakers are pouring in to honor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) reign as Democratic leader — after she announced Thursday that she will be stepping down from her post and giving way a new era of leadership.

The big picture: Pelosi, 83, made history as the first woman House speaker. Current and former lawmakers from both sides of the aisle praised her as a "historic leader" and "icon."

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that he will do "whatever I can to assist our new generation of Democratic Leaders which I hope to be Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar," per a statement.

  • Clyburn said working with Pelosi was a "great privilege and high honor" and called the California lawmaker a "historic leader."
  • "She has met the challenges of guiding this body through the best and worst of times," Clyburn said.
  • "Her steady hand, principled policies, and unmatched ability to build consensus among the most diverse caucus the country has ever known are hallmarks of her storied career."

President Biden said Thursday: "When I think of Nancy Pelosi, I think of dignity."

  • "History will note her as the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in history – she is first, last, and always for the people."
  • "America owes her a debt of gratitude for her service, patriotism, and dignity."

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate, posted a photo on Twitter of the pair and said: "The best to ever do it. Thank you, Madam Speaker."

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), the assistant speaker of the House, said that Pelosi "is an icon who has guided our nation to become a more perfect union."

  • "She has led with purpose, strength, and patriotism and her dedication to our country and Constitution is unsurpassed."

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said: "It’s a melancholy day," after Pelosi's announcement.

  • "Speaker Pelosi has a magnificent way of listening to people very carefully, and then drawing from them their best ideas, and then improving her own concept of where we need to go."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said: "The impact of @SpeakerPelosi’s leadership is immeasurable, but at the center is this: She has always fought for the American people."

Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) congratulated Pelosi "on a historic career in the House."

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) echoed Ryan's sentiment and said: "Although we don't agree on anything, she's always been kind to me, and she'd often ask about my daughter Isabel when we'd meet on the House floor."

  • "I have no doubt she'll keep working hard to represent her constituents in San Francisco."

Go deeper... Meet the likely House Democratic leaders in the post-Pelosi era

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reactions.

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