Pelosi is hopeful that, during her second period holding the position, she can effectively combat Republican legislation.
Nancy Pelosi was officially elected the new House Speaker in a majority vote by the House of Representatives at the beginning of January. She defeated Republican nominee Kevin McCarthy, who became the House Minority Leader. For the second time, she makes history as the only woman to ever assume the position. At 78, she’s one of the oldest speakers elected.
During her speakership from 2007 to 2011, legislative accomplishments such as allowing gay people to serve in the military, expanding the Affordable Care Act for millions of people and working on the Great Recession solidified her reputation. Now, according to the New York Times, her performance will be defined by “how she handles President Trump.”
With a government in a divided state and a statistically unpopular president, her role as the Speaker has changed drastically. This year, Pelosi was elected during a time of political tension that climaxed in an ongoing government shutdown. Democratic leaders refused to fund Trump’s border wall, and Pelosi named the impending government shutdown a “Trump shutdown.” Now, her actions are under greater scrutiny.
Pelosi outlined a plan for Democrats to pass a legislative package after her election when she described pressing issues ranging from climate change to income inequality.
“We will call upon bold thinking to address the disparity of income in America, which is at the root of the crisis of confidence felt by so many Americans,” Pelosi said, adding, “We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis.”
In a nod to the historic nature of her election, Pelosi said she felt “particularly proud” to serve as “the woman speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks the 100th year of women having the right to vote.”
Pelosi’s election is one that demands greater attention due to the political circumstances that surround her. With a record number of women in Congress, Pelosi doesn’t want another historically significant moment to pass.