Soon after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced her decision to resign from Democrat leadership, President Joe Biden released a 500-word statement praising the California congresswoman as the “most consequential speaker” in history.
Republicans were officially projected to take control of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, which meant that Pelosi would lose her position as speaker to a Republican — likely Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who won the GOP nomination for the position on Tuesday with 188 votes. The official vote for House leadership doesn’t take place until January, where the California Republican will need 218 votes to officially become Speaker of the House.
Rather than take her place within the leadership of the Democrats while the party was in the minority in the House, Pelosi instead announced her decision to step down from the leadership role — though she did say she plans to remain in Congress.
According to the White House, Biden called Pelosi on the phone earlier in the day to congratulate the California Democrat for her years of leadership. He also released a public letter praising her.
“When I think of Nancy Pelosi, I think of dignity,” Biden wrote in the statement released by the White House. “History will note she is the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.”
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. pic.twitter.com/U2xvEVC1E5
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 17, 2022
The president went on to note that Pelosi had made history in 2007 when she became the first female House Speaker, celebrating that moment while asserting that it 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,” Biden continued, praising her for her leadership role in bailing out Wall Street, passing Obamacare, and allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the U.S. military.
Biden also took the opportunity to make the occasion about himself — promoting the multi-trillion dollar spending agenda that he signed during the first two years of his presidency, thanking Pelosi for helping him pass the massive spending packages.
The president then attacked Republicans who he claimed “too often vilify her” throughout her political career, blaming the GOP for inspiring “political violence and intimidation.”
“She might be stepping down from her leadership role in the House Democratic Caucus, but she will never waiver [sic] in protecting our sacred democracy,” Biden said.