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Pelosi steps down as House Democratic leader after nearly 20 years: ‘The hour has come for a new generation to lead’

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, announced on Thursday that she will not seek reelection as the leader of the House Democratic Conference but will continue to serve as a member of the House, Fox News Digital reported.

Pelosi was elected as House Democratic leader in 2003 and has served two four-year terms as the first female speaker, from 2007 to 2011 and 2019 to present.

During her House floor announcement Thursday, Pelosi stated that she would continue to serve in Congress and represent the people in her San Francisco district.

“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said. “For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”

“There is no greater special honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco. This I will continue to do as a member of the House speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California and defending our Constitution,” she added.

Shortly after the announcement, President Joe Biden released a statement calling Pelosi “the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.”

“Nancy Pelosi is first, last, and always for the people,” Biden stated. “Jill and I count Nancy, Paul, and their family among our dearest friends. As a nation, we owe her a deep debt of gratitude for her service, her patriotism, and above all, her absolute dignity.”

House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina stated, “Speaker Pelosi has left an indelible mark on Congress and the country, and I look forward to her continued service and doing whatever I can to assist our new generation of Democratic Leaders which I hope to be Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar.”

Pelosi did not mention who would be her successor, but her most likely replacement appears to be House Democratic Conference Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, according to Fox News Digital. Jeffries, 52, is currently the fifth-ranking House Democrat.