Who is Nancy Pelosi: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Photo: Speaker of the House

Who is Nancy Pelosi?

Nancy Pelosi (born March 26, 1940, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.) is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. Now in her third term as Speaker, Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position second-in-line to the presidency, the first person to do so in more than 60 years. As Speaker, Pelosi is fighting For The People, working to lower health care costs, increase workers’ pay through strong economic growth and rebuilding America, and clean up corruption for make Washington work for all.

Nancy Pelosi's timeline before the big promotion to House Speaker

Pelosi grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of the Democratic Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. As a young girl, she managed her father's book of people who owed him political favors, collected by Bussiness Insider.

She attended her first Democratic National Convention at age 12. Here she is at age 20 with John F. Kennedy at his inaugural ball.

Pelosi met her husband, Paul, at Georgetown University. She was a mother of five by 1969, when the family moved to San Francisco. Paul worked as a banker, while Nancy raised their children and started a Democratic Party club at her home.

In 1976, she worked for the presidential campaign of California Gov. Jerry Brown, and by 1981, she was the Democratic Party chair for the state of California, working behind the scenes to recruit candidates and raise money in the left-leaning state.

At age 47, after her youngest child had left for college, Pelosi was encouraged by a dying congresswoman to run for her seat. She threw 100 house parties, recruited 4,000 volunteers, and raised $1 million in seven weeks.

She defeated a San Francisco supervisor in a special election, winning one of the most solidly Democratic seats in the country. In June 1978, she was sworn in with her father by her side.

Pelosi knew California Sen. Dianne Feinstein as a neighbor years before they became two of the most powerful women in Congress. Here they are hanging out after Feinstein lost the California gubernatorial election in 1990.

Pelosi was also one of the House architects behind the 1994 assault-weapons ban, along with Feinstein and then Rep. Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi was also put on the powerful House Appropriations and Intelligence committees, and was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Operations committee. Here she is with then Rep. Barney Frank at a 1995 news conference.

Pelosi got a big promotion in 2001, when she was named the House Democratic whip, the No. 2 job in the party.

Pelosi developed a reputation as a shrewd politician, and she steadily rose within the party, becoming minority whip in 2002. Later that year she was elected minority leader, and, when she took office in 2003, she became the first woman to lead a party in Congress. On January 4, 2007, Pelosi was elected speaker of the House of the 110th Congress.

Who is Nancy Pelosi: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Photo: VOA

Nancy Pelosi's Life & Career as a House Speaker

According to Britannica, in the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, Pelosi became a target of Republican attacks and a rallying point for Tea Partiers, who were keen to turn the elections into a referendum on the Democratic agenda. Despite calls for new party leadership, Pelosi was elected to serve as minority leader in the next Congress. The 2018 midterm elections saw a massive resurgence for the Democrats as they regained control of the House. Pelosi made various concessions, notably accepting term limits, and in January 2019 she was officially elected speaker, becoming the first person in more than 60 years to serve nonconsecutive terms in the post.

Who is Nancy Pelosi: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Photo: Tampa Bay

Nancy Pelosi's reputation raised as she dealt with the 2018 government shut down

At issue was funding for a border wall, one of Trump’s key campaign pledges. Pelosi united her party in opposition to the president, who vowed to keep the government closed until he received billions for the proposed wall. Citing security concerns, Pelosi refused to allow Trump to hold the annual State of the Union in the House chambers while the government was closed. In late January Trump finally agreed to end the shutdown, which was the longest to date, even though he had failed to secure the necessary funding. Pelosi drew particular praise for her handling of the situation.

During this time Pelosi faced calls from within her party to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump. Pelosi was initially reluctant to move on impeachment, but in September 2019 it was publicly revealed that a whistle-blower had filed a complaint alleging that Trump had withheld aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country into opening a corruption investigation into Joe Biden. Later that month Pelosi opened a formal impeachment inquiry in the House. The investigation concluded in early December 2019, and several weeks later the House voted to impeach the president. However, Pelosi delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until January. The move was seen as an attempt to secure certain conditions for the Senate trial, and its effect was debated. In February 2020 the Senate acquitted Trump.

Who is Nancy Pelosi: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Photo: Post-gazette

Nancy Pelosi's legacy

According to her own website, for 33 years, Speaker Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in Congress. She has led House Democrats for 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement. Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people.”

Speaker Pelosi was the architect of the landmark Affordable Care Act which has guaranteed protections for all Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, ended annual and lifetime limits on health coverage, and provided affordable health coverage for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term.

As Speaker, Pelosi has made the climate crisis her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making a historic commitment to American homegrown biofuels. Additional key accomplishments signed into law under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi include an increase in the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years; the largest college aid expansion since the GI bill; a new GI education bill for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and increased services for veterans, caregivers, and the Veterans Administration.

Who is Nancy Pelosi: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Photo: Business Insider

Nancy Pelosi sets out plans to call for Trump’s removal

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House of Representatives will offer a resolution Monday calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment, removing him from office. In a letter to her Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said if Vice President Mike Pence does not respond within 24 hours, the House will proceed with impeachment.

The push to remove Trump from office in his final days comes amid growing calls to hold him accountable for last Wednesday’s mayhem that left five people dead at the U.S. Capitol as a mob of Trump supporters stormed past police into the building. Neither Trump nor the White House responded to Pelosi’s move on Sunday, according to VOA. At least 180 House Democrats have signed on to the impeachment effort, but that number is short of the 218 majorities in the 435-member House, and no Republicans have voiced their support for it. Trump and the White House have remained silent on the possible impeachment.

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