US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, a pivotal realignment making way for a new generation of leaders after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.
Pelosi announces in a spirited speech on the House floor that she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home.
The California Democrat, who rose to become the nation’s first woman to wield the speaker’s gavel, says she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January.
“Now we must move boldly into the future,” Pelosi says. “The hour has come for a new generation.”
It’s an unusual choice for a party leader to stay on after withdrawing from congressional leadership but one befitting of Pelosi, who has long defied convention in pursuing power in Washington.