POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Pelosi Poised To Become House Speaker, Making History

Jan 3, 2019, 7:10 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:16 pm

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is interviewed while walking through the U.S. Capitol on January 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. Pelosi, who is scheduled to become the next Speaker of the House, will meet with other leaders of Congress and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House later today to discuss border security and ending the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(D-CA)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nancy Pelosi knew this moment would come, even if others had their doubts — or worked to stop her.

Pelosi is poised to be elected Thursday as House speaker, the only woman who has held the office and now one of few elected officials who will be returning to it. The last time a speaker regained the gavel was more than a half-century ago.

The California Democrat has spent her political career being underestimated, only to prove the naysayers wrong. In this case, it was by winning back the Democratic majority and amassing the votes for the speaker’s job.

“None of us is indispensable,” Pelosi told The Associated Press on the campaign trail last fall, “but I do know that I’m very good at what I do.”

In accepting the gavel, Pelosi will give a nod to the new era of divided government with a pledge to “reach across the aisle in this chamber and across the divisions in this great nation,” according to excerpts of her prepared remarks Thursday.

“The floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions,” she says.

In previewing Democratic priorities, she talks about lowering health care costs, investing in green infrastructure and “restoring integrity” to government.

“We must be champions of the middle class and all those who aspire to it — because the middle class is the backbone of democracy,” she says.

Pelosi remains a highly polarizing figure, vilified by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal and a caricature of big government. But she is also a mother of five and a grandmother of nine who has shattered glass ceilings to become one of the most powerful politicians of the 21st century.

With President Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans still controlling the Senate, Pelosi’s return to the speaker’s office to lead a Democratic majority with its biggest freshmen class since Watergate shakes up the dynamic in Washington even beyond the new era of divided government.

Pelosi has faced pressure from some incoming Democrats who have been willing to talk about the possibility of impeachment proceedings against Trump. Pelosi has called impeachment a “divisive activity,” and Democrats were cautious about mentioning the “I” word during the 2018 midterms for fear it would backfire politically.

But Pelosi did not shy away from it Thursday in an interview airing on NBC’s “Today” show.

“We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason,” she said, adding that she would wait for the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.

Pelosi is one of the few congressional leaders who seem to understand Trump, both being children from famous families now primed for deal-making. Trump appreciates strong characters, and, in perhaps a sign of respect, she is one of the few congressional leaders in Washington he has not given a nickname — though he has made her a frequent target.

Pelosi’s return to the speaker’s office was not guaranteed. A core group of rank-and-file Democrats has hungered for new leadership, saying it’s time for a new generation to take the helm. They tired of the Republican attack ads featuring Pelosi that are constantly run against them back home, and they worried she would be a drag on efforts to keep the majority in the next election. They enlisted some of the newcomers from the freshmen class to their ranks to try to stop her from regaining the gavel.

But one by one, Pelosi peeled away the skeptics, flipping “no” votes to the “yes” column, sometimes in a matter of days. Some were given lead positions on their legislative priorities, even a gavel of their own to chair special panels.

And Pelosi gave a little, too, promising, at 78, to serve no more than four years in leadership, making way for the next generation.

It’s unclear what the final tally will be when votes for speaker are counted Thursday as the first act of the new Democratic majority.

“She’ll be more than fine,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the incoming chairman of the Democratic caucus.

Jeffries said when he told his family that, because of his new position, he may be the one to put Pelosi’s name forward during the nomination proceeding, his youngest son said to him, “Don’t blow the moment, Dad.”

___

Follow Mascaro on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisamascaro

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

A protestor holds a sign reading 'My Body My Choice' at a Women's March rally where Arizona Secreta...

Steve Peoples and Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

A near-total ban on abortion has supercharged the political dynamics of Arizona, a key swing state

Arizona was already expected to be one of the most closely contested states in November's U.S. presidential election. But a ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged the state's role, transforming it into perhaps the nation's most critical battleground.

12 hours ago

Manuel Rocha sitting at a desk smiling...

Denise Royal, Carlos Suarez and Ray Sanchez, CNN

Former US diplomat sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to spying for Cuba

Manuel Rocha, the former US ambassador to Bolivia who acted as a secret foreign agent of Cuba, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges Friday

1 day ago

Michael Cook, who was running for the Republican nomination for Spanish Fork's District 25 senate s...

Carlysle Price and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Former Senate candidate charged for refusing to leave a USPS while gathering signatures

Former Republican candidate Michael Cook is facing two charges after allegedly attempting to gather signatures in a federal building on March 29.

1 day ago

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and...

Lisa Mascaro and Jill Colvin, Associated Press

Trump gives support to embattled Speaker Mike Johnson at pivotal Mar-a-Lago meet

Donald Trump has given his support to embattled House Speaker Mike Johnson during a visit to the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

1 day ago

Natalie Cline attends the monthly meeting for the Utah State Board of Education, the first since th...

Lindsay Aerts and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Salt Lake County Republicans will decide the political future of Natalie Cline

A few hundred Republicans in Salt Lake County will decide the political future of Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline during county convention on Saturday.

1 day ago

Michael Cook, who was running for the Republican nomination for Spanish Fork's District 25 senate s...

Lindsay Aerts

Spanish Fork Republican candidate for state senate disqualified as incumbent senator threatens lawsuit

A Republican senator is threatening a lawsuit claiming the Utah County Republican Party wasted his time and resources on a race that ultimately ended with his opponent being disqualified.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Pelosi Poised To Become House Speaker, Making History