House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Steps Aside as Leader of House Democrats

From a story on by Rachael Bade and Garrett Ross headlined “Pelosi stands aside for ‘a New generation'”:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will step aside as House Democrats’ top leader after 15 years, she announced on the floor early Thursday afternoon. She said she will continue to serve in the House from the back benches.

“The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” she said to a chamber packed full of Democrats who had assembled to pay tribute to her remarkable career. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”

Pelosi, wearing her suffragist-white pantsuit and gold mace pin, quoted her most treasured role model, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, calling on the country to “come together, to swell the chorus of the union, when once again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature.”

“That again is the task at hand,” she said. “A new day is dawning on the horizon, and I look forward, always forward, to the unfolding story of our nation, a story of light and love, of patriotism and progress, of many becoming one. And always an unfinished mission to make the dreams of today the reality of tomorrow.”

Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER walked over from the Senate to hear her speech. A few Republicans — including House Majority Leader-elect STEVE SCALISE and Reps. YOUNG KIM (R-Calif.) and JOE WILSON (R-S.C.) — sat in the front row to take in the moment, per NBC’s Scott Wong.

Wilson, who famously yelled “You lie!” at former President BARACK OBAMA during a 2009 joint address, saluted the outgoing leader at the end of a brief floor speech this morning: “Godspeed, Nancy Pelosi,” he said.

President JOE BIDEN spoke with Pelosi before her address “and congratulated her on her historic tenure as Speaker of the House.”

Pelosi’s move paves the way for three up-and-comers who have been carefully orchestrating their own rise: Rep. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-N.Y.), the caucus chairman; Rep. KATHERINE CLARK (D-Mass.), the assistant speaker; and Rep. PETE AGUILAR (D-Calif.), the caucus vice chair, are now respectively set to claim the top three Democratic leadership positions — minority leader, whip and caucus chair.

The transition, it appears, will be bloodless.

Moments after her speech, House Majority Leader STENY HOYER (D-Md.) announced that he would also step aside for the youngsters, staving off what would have been a contentious leadership battle between the younger generation and the Maryland Democrat.

Majority Whip JIM CLYBURN, meanwhile, is expected to remain in leadership as assistant Democratic leader — a position first created for Clyburn back when Democrats last transitioned to the minority in 2011. It’s a position that comes without specific responsibilities but reflects Clyburn’s outsize role as a mentor and adviser to Jeffries.

With the three senior leaders peacefully passing the torch, Dems now appear to be headed into the next Congress with their new, muscular minority walking (mostly) in lockstep.

REPUBLICANS SHARPEN THEIR KNIVES — Meanwhile, Republicans will be left to manage a narrow majority, likely no more than four seats, with weeks of internal wrangling still to play out as GOP leader KEVIN McCARTHY scrambles to win 218 speaker votes.

Pelosi’s big reveal obscured House Republicans’ first official day as a majority-in-waiting — and the announcement this morning from two incoming committee chairmen – Reps. JAMES COMER (R-Ky.) and JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio) — that they would launch an investigation into Biden’s possible involvement in his family’s business dealings.

Comer, who is expected to lead the House Oversight Committee, cited whistleblowers in claiming “a wide range of criminality” in the Biden family’s overseas financial dealings. The allegations, he said, raise “troubling questions about whether President Biden is a national security risk” and if he “is compromised by foreign governments.”

“We want the bank records,” Comer said. “We’re trying to stay focused on: Was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals and is he compromised? That’s our investigation.” Read the GOP report

Jordan, in line to lead the House Judiciary Committee, promised to investigate reported political activity in the FBI and “the political nature of the Justice Department.”

It’s a reminder that while Democrats have been buoyed by Election Day results that weren’t half as bad as predicted, a majority is still a majority — and it comes with subpoena power. After watching Democrats bedevil former president DONALD TRUMP for four years, they’re more than ready for some payback.

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