Nancy Pelosi

From New World Encyclopedia

Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (March 26, 1940 - ) is an American politician who served as the 52nd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023. Before being elected Speaker in the 110th Congress, she was the House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007. She has led House Democrats since 2003, serving twice each as Speaker (2007–2011 and 2019–2023) and as House Minority Leader (2003–2007 and 2011–2019) depending upon whether Democrats or Republicans held the majority; she has also served as House Minority Whip (2002–2003).

With her election as Speaker, Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She is also the first Italian-American and first Californian to serve as Speaker. She is the second Speaker from a state west of the Rocky Mountains, with the first being Washington's Tom Foley, who was the last Democrat to hold the post before Pelosi. As Speaker of the House, Pelosi ranked second in the United States line of presidential succession, following the Vice President, which made her the highest-ranking female politician in United States history. Any politician has admirers and detractors, depending on a critic's perspective. However, regardless of anyone's political views, in breaking the "marble ceiling" as the first woman Speaker of the House, Pelosi helped to open up opportunities for more of the nation's elected female representatives to be considered for such high office. Whenever a barrier is broken, a bridge is also built for others to walk across.

Early life and career

Nancy Pelosi D'Alesandro was born on March 26, 1940, in Baltimore, Maryland. The youngest of six children, she was involved with politics from an early age. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., was a U.S. Congressman from Maryland and a Mayor of Baltimore. Her brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, also a Democrat, was mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971, when he declined to run for a second term.

She graduated from Institute of Notre Dame, a Catholic all-girls high school in Baltimore, and from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University) in Washington, D.C. in 1962. She interned for Senator Daniel Brewster (D-Maryland) alongside future House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

She met Paul Frank Pelosi (b. April 15, 1940) in San Francisco, California) while she was attending Trinity College. They married in a Catholic church on September 7, 1963. After the couple married they moved to New York, and then to San Francisco in 1969, where his brother, Ronald Pelosi was a member of the City and County of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

After moving to San Francisco, Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics. She was elected as party chairwoman for Northern California on January 30, 1977. She later joined forces with one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton. And in 1987, after her youngest child became a high school senior, she decided to run for political office.

Pelosi has five children: Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul, and Alexandra, as well as seven grandchildren. Alexandra, a journalist, covered the Republican presidential campaigns in 2000 and made a film about the experience, Journeys with George. In 2007, Christine published a book, Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders.

Congressional career

Congressman Phillip Burton died in 1983 and was succeeded by his wife, Sala. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer and decided not to run for reelection in 1988. She picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons' contacts. Sala died on February 1, 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt on April 7, 1987, then easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2, 1987; Pelosi took office a week later.

This seat is in one of the safest Democratic districts in the country. Democrats have held the seat since 1949, and Republicans, who currently make up only 13 percent of registered voters in the district, have not made a serious bid for the seat since the early 1960s. Pelosi kept this tradition going. Since her initial victory in 1987, she has been re-elected 11 times, receiving at least 75 percent of the vote. She never participated in candidates' debates. Pelosi has the distinction of contributing the most among members of Congress to other congressional campaigns because she did not need the campaign funds, representing such a strong Democratic district.

In the House, she served on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, and was the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee until her election as Speaker.

Democratic Party leadership

In 2001, Pelosi was elected the House Minority Whip, second-in-command to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri. She was the first woman in U.S. history to hold that position. Since then, she campaigned for candidates in 30 states and in 90 Congressional districts, making her a vital factor for the Democratic Party.

In 2002, after Gephardt resigned as minority leader to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, Pelosi was elected to replace him, becoming the first woman to lead a minority and major party in the House.

Defeating Social Security privatization

Shortly after winning re-election, President George W. Bush claimed a mandate for an ambitious second-term agenda that would include the privatization of Social Security. Pelosi strongly opposed, and as minority leader imposed intense party discipline on her caucus, leading them to near-unanimous opposition of Bush's proposal. With a unified Democratic Party pushing against the President's plan, Social Security privatization was defeated.

Blocking of impeachment proceedings against Bush

In the wake of George W. Bush's reelection in 2004, several leading House Democrats believed that Democrats should pursue impeachment proceedings against the president. They asserted that Bush had misled Congress about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and had violated the civil liberties of Americans by authorizing wiretaps without a warrant.

In May 2006, with an eye on the upcoming Congressional elections—which offered the possibility of Democrats taking back control of the House for the first time since 1994—Pelosi told colleagues that, while the Democrats would conduct vigorous oversight of Bush administration policy, an impeachment investigation was "off the table." (A week earlier, she had told the Washington Post that, although Democrats would not set out to impeach the president, "you never know where" investigations might lead.)[1]

After becoming Speaker of the House in January 2007, Pelosi held firm against impeachment, notwithstanding strong support for that course of action among constituents in her home district. In the November 2008 election, Pelosi withstood a challenge for her seat by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who ran as an independent primarily because of Pelosi's refusal to pursue impeachment.

Speaker of the House (2007–2011)

Democratic nomination and election as Speaker

Did you know?
Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

On November 16, 2006, Pelosi was unanimously chosen as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, effectively making her Speaker-elect. While the Speaker is elected by the full House membership, in modern practice the election is a formality, since the Speaker always comes from the majority party.

On January 3, Pelosi defeated Republican John Boehner of Ohio with 233 votes compared to his 202 votes in the election for Speaker of the House. She was nominated by Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the incoming chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and sworn in by her longtime friend, John Dingell of Michigan, as the longest-serving member of the House traditionally does.

Pelosi (right) with Vice President Dick Cheney behind President George W. Bush at the 2007 State of the Union Address making history as the first woman to sit behind the podium at such an address. President Bush acknowledged this by beginning his speech with the words, "Tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own—as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker."[2]

In her speech to Congress she stated:

I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship, and look forward to working with you on behalf of the American people. In this House, we may belong to different parties, but we serve one country.[3]

During her speech, she discussed the historical importance of being the first female to hold the Speaker's position:

This is a historic moment—for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today, we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them.[3]

She also spoke on Iraq as the major issue facing the 110th Congress while incorporating some Democratic Party beliefs:

The election of 2006 was a call to change—not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in Iraq. The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end.[3]

As Speaker, Pelosi was still the leader of the House. However, by tradition, the Speaker does not normally participate in debate (though they have the right to do so), and almost never votes on the floor. Pelosi also was not a member of any House committees.

Pelosi was re-elected Speaker in 2009.

The "Hundred Hours"

Prior to the U.S. 2006 midterm elections, Pelosi announced a plan for action: If elected, she and the newly empowered Democratic caucus would push through most of its program during the first hundred hours of the 110th Congress' term. Later she said this referred to business hours rather than clock time, and began on the Tuesday (January 9, 2007) after the swearing-in ceremony on January 4.

The origin for the name "first hundred hours" is a play on words derived from former Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt's promise for quick action on the part of government (to combat the Great Depression) during his "first hundred days" in office. Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker, had a similar 100-day agenda to implement the Contract with America.

Opposition to Iraq War troop surge of 2007

On January 5, 2007 reacting to suggestions from President Bush's confidantes that he would increase troop levels in Iraq (which he announced in a speech a few days later), Pelosi joined with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to condemn the plan. They sent Bush a letter saying, "[T]here is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. … Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection, and counter-terror."[4]

2008 Democratic National Convention

Pelosi conducts convention business during the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Pelosi was named Permanent Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Healthcare reform

Pelosi was credited with spearheading President Obama's health-care law when it seemed that it would go down in defeat. After Republican Scott Brown won Democrat Ted Kennedy's former senate seat in the January 2010 Massachusetts special election and thereby causing the Senate Democrats to lose their filibuster proof majority, Obama agreed with then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's idea that he should do smaller initiatives that could pass easily. Pelosi, however, dismissed the president's fear and instead mocked his scaled-back ideas as "kiddie care".[5] After convincing the president that this would be their only shot at health-care because of the large Democratic majorities they currently had, she rallied her Democratic caucus as she began an "unbelievable marathon" of a two-month session to craft the health-care bill, which successfully passed the House with a 219–212 vote. In Obama's remarks before signing the bill into law, he specifically credited Pelosi as being "one of the best Speakers the House of Representatives has ever had."[6]

House Minority Leader (2011–2019)

112th and 113th Congress

Though Pelosi was re-elected by a comfortable margin in the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats lost 63 seats and ceded control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans. After the electoral setback suffered by her party, Pelosi sought to continue leading the House Democratic Caucus in the position of Minority Leader, the office she held prior to becoming Speaker. After Pelosi's disparate intra-party opposition failed to pass a motion to delay the leadership vote, Pelosi was elected Minority Leader for the 112th Congress. On November 14, 2012, Pelosi announced she would remain on as Democratic leader.[7]

In November 2011, 60 Minutes alleged that Pelosi and several other members of Congress had used information they gleaned from closed sessions to make money on the stock market. The program cited Pelosi's purchases of Visa stock while a bill that would limit credit card fees was in the House. Pelosi denied the allegations and called the report "a right-wing smear."[8] When the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (or STOCK Act) was introduced the next year, Pelosi voted for the bill and lauded its passing. Of Representatives Louise Slaughter and Tim Walz, who drafted the bill, Pelosi said they "shined a light on a gaping hole in our ethics laws and helped close it once and for all."[9]

114th and 115th Congress

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking at the United States Department of Labor on Equal Pay Day
Pelosi greets DREAMers fasting outside the Capitol, September 2017

Tim Ryan initiated a bid to replace Pelosi as House Minority Leader on November 17, 2016, prompted by colleagues following the 2016 presidential election.[10] After Pelosi agreed to give more leadership opportunities to junior members,[11] she defeated Ryan by a vote of 134–63 on November 30.[12]

In November 2017, after Pelosi called for the resignation of John Conyers over allegations of harassment, she convened the first in a series of planned meetings on strategies to address reforming workplace policies in the wake of national attention to sexual harassment. Pelosi said Congress had "a moral duty to the brave women and men coming forward to seize this moment and demonstrate real, effective leadership to foster a climate of respect and dignity in the workplace".[13]

In February 2018, Pelosi broke the record for longest speech in the House of Representatives when she spent more than eight hours recounting stories from DREAMers – individuals who were brought to the United States as minors by undocumented immigrants – to object to a budget deal which would raise spending caps without addressing the future of DACA recipients, which were at risk of deportation by the Trump administration.[14]

In August 2018, Pelosi called for the resignation of Duncan D. Hunter after his indictment on charges of misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds, saying in a statement that the charges were "evidence of the rampant culture of corruption among Republicans in Washington today."[15]

Second speakership (2019–2023)

In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained a majority of seats in the House. On November 28, House Democrats nominated Pelosi to once again serve as Speaker of the House. She was formally re-elected to the speakership at the start of the 116th Congress on January 3, 2019.[16]

2019 shutdown

At the start of the 116th Congress, Pelosi successfully held against President Trump's attempts to use a government shutdown as leverage to build a substantial wall on the American border, calling the shutdown a "hostage-taking" of civil servants.[17] On January 23, Pelosi cancelled the upcoming State of the Union Address in the House of Representatives after she requested it to be postponed on January 16.

After several news polls showed the President's popularity sharply falling due to the shutdown, on January 25, he signed a resolution passed by the House and Senate reopening the federal government.[18]

Political positions and voting record

Pelosi is regarded as a liberal, in part because she represents most of San Francisco, well known for its tradition of left-leaning politics. She consistently receives high ratings from liberal lobbying groups such as Americans for Democratic Action and People for the American Way, and she has a lifetime rating of three from the right-leaning American Conservative Union. During the 2004 and 2006 election cycles, Republicans frequently used the prospect of a "San Francisco liberal" or "Bay Area liberal" becoming Speaker as a tool to win votes, especially in the South. She was a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but left in 2003 after being elected Minority Leader as it would be inappropriate for her to be a member of any caucus.

In San Francisco, Pelosi is seen as being a moderate and sometimes even a conservative rather than a liberal, which has led to some conflicts with her constituents, particularly with anti-war activists. Nonetheless, she has never faced a serious challenger in the Democratic primary or from the Green Party, which is competitive in local elections.


Pelosi supports the legality of abortion. She voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and earlier attempts at similar bans. She voted in favor of the 1998 Abortion Funding Amendment, which allowed the use of district funds to promote abortion-related activities.

She has also voted in favor of using federal funds to perform abortions in overseas military facilities, against parental notification when a minor is transported across state lines for an abortion, and in favor of providing funding for organizations working overseas that promote or perform abortions and abortion-related activities.

During the 2008 campaign season, Pelosi commented that there was disagreement within the Catholic Church about abortion and when life begins. This drew a rebuke from the Archbishop of Washington, who said Pelosi was incorrect and the official catechism of the Catholic Church on the matter was clear and unchangeable.

Budget, taxes, and monetary policy

Pelosi has been an advocate for a balanced budget, though she voted against the 1995 Balanced Budget Proposed Constitutional Amendment, which was passed by the House by a 300-132 vote, but in the Senate fell two votes short of the 2/3 supermajority required (with 65 out of 100 Senators voting in favor).

Civil liberties

The ACLU's Congressional Scorecard has given Pelosi a lifetime rating of 93 percent for her voting record on civil liberties. In 2001, she voted in favor of the USA Patriot Act but voted against reauthorization of certain provisions in 2005. She voted against a Constitutional amendment banning flag-burning and against a Congressional resolution supporting the display of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms.


In a January 25, 2009 interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC News, Pelosi said, "Well, the family-planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education, and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those—one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."[19]


Pelosi voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, which instituted testing to track students' progress and authorized an increase in overall education spending.

Environment and energy

President George W. Bush and Pelosi honor 300 Tuskegee Airmen at the Capitol building, March 2007

Pelosi has supported the development of new technologies to reduce U.S. dependence upon foreign oil and ameliorate the adverse environmental effects of burning fossil fuels. She has widely supported conservation programs and energy research appropriations. She has also voted to remove an amendment that would allow for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Pelosi has blocked efforts to revive offshore oil-drilling in protected areas, reasoning that offshore drilling could lead to an increase in dependence on fossil fuels.

Foreign policy

People's Republic of China

On March 21, 2008, Pelosi criticized the People's Republic of China for its handling of the unrest in Tibet and called on "freedom-loving people" worldwide to denounce China. She was quoted as saying, "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world," while addressing a crowd of thousands of Tibetans in Dharamsala, India.[20] She, however, did not call for a boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics that were held in Beijing.

On October 24, 2008, Pelosi commended the European Parliament for its "bold decision" to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Chinese dissident and human rights activist Hu Jia. "I call on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Hu Jia from prison and to respect the fundamental freedoms of all the people in China," Pelosi's statement read.[21]


Pelosi publicly scolded Colombian President Álvaro Uribe during Uribe's May 2007 state trip to America. Pelosi met with Uribe and later released a statement that she and other members of Congress had "expressed growing concerns about the serious allegations" of links between Paramilitary groups and Colombian government officials.[22] Pelosi also came out against the Colombian free trade agreement.[23]


Pelosi and John Kerry at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana, Cuba, March 2016

In 2008, Pelosi said: "For years, I have opposed the embargo on Cuba. I don't think it's been successful, and I think we have to remove the travel bans and have more exchanges – people to people exchanges with Cuba."[24] In 2015, Pelosi supported President Obama's Cuban Thaw, a rapprochement between the U.S. and Castro's regime in Cuba, and visited Havana for meetings with high-level officials.[25]


In a February 15, 2007 interview, Pelosi noted that Bush consistently said he supports a diplomatic resolution to differences with Iran "and I take him at his word." At the same time, she said, "I do believe that Congress should assert itself, though, and make it very clear that there is no previous authority for the president, any president, to go into Iran."[26] On January 12, 2007, Congressman Walter B. Jones of North Carolina introduced a resolution requiring that—absent a national emergency created by an attack, or a demonstrably imminent attack, by Iran upon the United States or its armed forces—the President must consult with Congress and receive specific authorization prior to initiating any use of military force against Iran. This resolution was removed from a military spending bill for the war in Iraq by Pelosi on March 13, 2007.

In July 2015, Pelosi said she was convinced Obama would have enough votes to secure the Iran nuclear deal, crediting the president with having made a "very strong and forceful presentation of his case supporting the nuclear agreement with Iran" and called the deal "a diplomatic masterpiece."[27]

In 2016, Pelosi argued against the passage of two bills that if enacted would block Iran's access to the dollar and impose sanctions for its ballistic missile program: "Regardless of whether you supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), we all agree that Iran must not possess a nuclear weapon. At this time, the JCPOA is the best way to achieve this critical goal."[28]

In May 2018, after Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, Pelosi said the decision was an abdication of American leadership and "particularly senseless, disturbing & dangerous".[29]

Iraq War

In 2002, Pelosi opposed the Iraq Resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against Iraq. In explaining her opposition to the resolution, Pelosi noted that Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet had told Congress that the likelihood of Iraq's Saddam Hussein launching an attack on the U.S. using weapons of mass destruction was low. "This is about the Constitution," Pelosi said. "It is about this Congress asserting its right to declare war when we are fully aware what the challenges are to us. It is about respecting the United Nations and a multilateral approach, which is safer for our troops."


Pelosi reaffirmed that "America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship." Pelosi emphasized that "a strong relationship between the United States and Israel has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. America's commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering, …[h]owever, the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe."

Pelosi's voting record shows consistent support for Israel. Prior to 2006 elections in the Palestinian Authority, she voted for a Congressional initiative disapproving of participation in the elections by Hamas and other organizations defined as terrorist by the legislation. She agrees with the current U.S. stance in support of land-for-peace. She has applauded Israeli "hopeful signs" of offering land, while criticizing Palestinian "threats" of not demonstrating peace in turn. She states, "If the Palestinians agree to coordinate with Israel on the evacuation, establish the rule of law, and demonstrate a capacity to govern, the world may be convinced that finally there is a real partner for peace."

During the 2006 Lebanon War, Pelosi voted in favor of Resolution 921 on the count that "the seizure of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah terrorists was an unprovoked attack and Israel has the right, and indeed the obligation, to respond." She argues that organizations and political bodies in the Mideast like Hamas and Hezbollah "have a greater interest in maintaining a state of hostility with Israel than in improving the lives of the people they claim to represent." Pelosi asserted that civilians on both sides of the border "have been put at risk by the aggression of Hamas and Hezbollah" in part for their use of "civilians as shields by concealing weapons in civilian areas."

In September 2008, Pelosi hosted a reception in Washington with Israeli Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik, along with 20 members of Congress where they toasted the "strong friendship" between Israel and the United States. During the ceremony, Pelosi held up the dog tags of the three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah and Hamas in 2006 and stated that she keeps them as a "symbol of the sacrifices made, sacrifices far too great by the people of the state of Israel."[30]

Kuwait and the Gulf War

Pelosi opposed U.S. intervention to liberate Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War.

North Korea

Nancy Pelosi is one of the few members of Congress to have traveled to North Korea. She has expressed concern about the danger of nuclear proliferation from the North Korean regime, and the ongoing problems of hunger and oppression imposed by that country's leadership.[31]

In November 2017, after the Pentagon sent a letter to lawmakers stating a ground invasion was the only way to destroy all of North Korea's nuclear weapons without concern for having missed any, Pelosi stated she was concerned about both Pyongyang selling nuclear technology to third parties and North Korea and called for the United States to "exhaust every other remedy."[32]


Pelosi supports the Syria Accountability Act and Iran Freedom and Support Act. In a speech at the AIPAC 2005 annual conference, Pelosi said that "for too long, leaders from both parties haven't done enough" to put pressure on Russia and China who are providing Iran with technological information on nuclear issues and missiles. "If evidence of participation by other nations in Iran's nuclear program is discovered, I will insist that the Administration use, rather than ignore, the evidence in determining how the U.S. deals with that nation or nations on other issues."[33]

Turkey/Armenian Genocide

In mid-October 2007, after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution to label the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide, Pelosi pledged to bring the measure to a vote. The draft resolution prompted warnings from President Bush and fierce criticism from Turkey, with Turkey's prime minister saying that approval of the resolution would endanger U.S.-Turkey relations. After House support eroded, the measure's sponsors dropped their call for a vote, and in late October Pelosi agreed to set the matter aside.


Pelosi has been a supporter of rights for immigrants in the U.S. She voted against the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

In June 2018, Pelosi visited a federal facility used to detain migrant children separated from their parents and subsequently called for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.[34] Pelosi characterized the compromise immigration bill by the Republicans as a deal with the devil and noted she had not had conversations with House Speaker Ryan about a legislative solution to the separation of families at the southern border.[35]

LGBT issues

Pelosi received a 100-percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign for the 107th,108th, and 109th sessions of Congress, indicating that she voted in agreement with HRC's slate of pro-gay legislative issues. and in 2004 and 2006, she voted against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would amend the United States Constitution to define marriage federally as being between one man and one woman, thereby overriding states' individual rights to legalize gay marriage. When the Supreme Court of California overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Pelosi released a statement welcoming the "historic decision" and voiced her opposition to Proposition 8, which sought to define marriage as between a man and a woman in the state. The proposition appeared on California's 2008 election ballot, and was passed.

Pelosi supports the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2019, she spoke in Congress in favor of the bill and called for ending discrimination against LGBT people.[36]

Lobbyist guidelines and ethics issues

Pelosi introduced the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act to Congress.

Marijuana legalization

Pelosi supports reform in marijuana laws. She also supports use of medical marijuana.

Military draft

Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer meeting with President George W. Bush on November 9, 2006

When Representative Charles Rangel's (D-NY) planned to introduce legislation that would reinstate the draft, Pelosi stated that she did not support such legislation.[37]

Minimum wage

As Speaker of the House, Pelosi spearheaded the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 as part of the 100-Hour Plan. The Act raised the minimum wage in the United States and the territories of the Northern Marianas Islands and American Samoa. American Samoa was initially absent from the act, but as part of HR 2206 it was included.


Pelosi officially opposes the interrogation technique of waterboarding. In 2002, Pelosi and several other Congressional leaders received a briefing on then-secret interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Pelosi's office stated that she later protested the technique and that she concurred with objections raised by a Democratic colleague in a letter to the C.I.A. in early 2003.

Welfare reform

Pelosi opposed the welfare reform proposed by then-President Bush as well as reforms proposed and passed under President Clinton.


With her election, Pelosi became the first woman, the first Californian and the first Italian-American to hold the Speakership. She is also the second Speaker from a state west of the Rocky Mountains. The first was Washington's Tom Foley, the last Democrat to hold the post before Pelosi.

Pelosi's electoral history is equally impressive. Her only close race so far has been the special election to succeed Sala Burton's seat after her death in February 1987. In the special election's Democratic primary, Pelosi narrowly defeated San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, considered the more "progressive" candidate, with 36 percent of the vote to his 32 percent. In the runoff against Republican candidate Harriet Ross, Pelosi received more than a two-to-one majority of cast votes in a turnout that comprised about 24 percent of eligible voters. Since then, Pelosi has enjoyed overwhelming support in her political career, collecting 76 and 77 percent of the vote in California's Fifth District for the 1988 and 1990 Race for U.S. House of Representatives. In 1992, after the redistricting from the 1990 Census, Pelosi ran in USHR District 8, which now covered the San Francisco area. She has continued to post impressive results since, dropping beneath 80 percent of the vote only twice. In 2002, she garnered 79.58 percent of the vote, which rounds up to 80 percent in any case.

Despite where you stand politically, Pelosi's breaking the "marble ceiling" by becoming the first woman to be Speaker of the House is an accomplishment that makes America stronger and safer as a nation. Now there is the opportunity for more of the nation's elected female congressional representatives to be considered as Speaker of House.


  1. Charles Babington, Democrats Won't Try To Impeach President Washington Post, May 12, 2006. Retrieved June 6, 20199.
  2. George W. Bush, President Bush's 2007 State of the Union Address January 23, 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Text of Nancy Pelosi's speech SFGate, January 4, 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  4. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Congressional Leaders Call on President to Reject Flawed Iraq Troop Surge January 5, 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  5. Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown, Pelosi steeled W.H. for health push Politico, March 20, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. Andrea Seabrook, Health Care Overhaul Boosts Pelosi's Clout NPR, March 29, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  7. Melinda Henneberger, The millions of reasons Nancy Pelosi decided to stay The Washington Post, November 14, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  8. CNN Wire Staff, Pelosi fires back at '60 Minutes' report on 'soft corruption' CNN, November 14, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  9. Pelosi Statement on Senate Passage of STOCK Act February 2, 2012. Retrieved June 6 2019.
  10. Manu Raju and Deirdre Walsh, Rep. Tim Ryan announces challenge to Pelosi CNN, November 17, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  11. Andrew Taylor, Pelosi promises more influence for junior Democrats Associated Press, November 22, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  12. By Paul Kane and Ed O'Keefe, Nancy Pelosi beats back challenge, is chosen as House Democratic leader The Washington Post, November 30, 2016. June 6, 2019.
  13. Elana Schor and Rachael Bade, Pelosi convenes sexual harassment reform meeting Politico, November 30, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  14. Daniella Diaz and Deirdre Walsh, Pelosi marathon speech on DACA sets record CNN, February 8, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  15. Michael Burke, Pelosi calls for Hunter to resign The Hill, August 21, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  16. Bloomberg, Democrats Elect Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House Fortune, January 3, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  17. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Republicans Push Trump Immigration Plan, Seeking to Corner Democrats on Shutdown The New York Times, January 20, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  18. Chris Cillizza, Donald Trump caved. And now the government is going to re-open CNN, January 25, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  19. 'This Week' Transcript: Nancy Pelosi ABC News, January 25, 2009. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  20. Nancy Pelosi, Pelosi: 'If Freedom-Loving People Do Not Speak Out for Human Rights in China and Tibet, Then We Lose Our Moral Authority' March 11, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  21. Nancy Pelosi, Pelosi Statement on Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia Receiving Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought October 24, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  22. Jason Ukman, Colombian President Defends His Government The Washington Post, May 5, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  23. Nancy Pelosi, Pelosi Floor Statement on Colombia Free Trade Agreement April 10, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  24. Neill Morgan, Raul Castro pushes change for Cubans CNN, April 28, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  25. Nick Miroff, In Havana, Pelosi delegation promotes Obama's Cuba thaw The Washington Post, February 10, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  26. David Espo, Pelosi: Bush Lacks Power to Invade Iran The Washington Post, February 15, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  27. Susan Davis, Pelosi says Iran deal 'a diplomatic masterpiece' USA Today, July 30, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  28. Cristina Marcos, House votes to toughen Iran sanctions The Hill, July 14, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  29. Max Greenwood, Dems hammer Trump over withdrawal from Iran deal The Hill, May 8, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  30. Two speakers toast to U.S.-Israel friendship, Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), September 18, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  31. Nancy Pelosi - Visit to Pyongyang, North Korea C-SPAN, April 19, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  32. [ Pelosi: Must 'exhaust' diplomatic options on North Korea] CNN, November 5, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  33. Yitzhak Benhorin, Nancy Pelosi: Israel, don't fear Dems in Congress. YNet News, October 26, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  34. Brett Samuels, Pelosi visits detention facility, says DHS secretary should resign The Hill, June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  35. Mike Lillis, Pelosi: GOP immigration bill is 'a compromise with the devil' The Hill, June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  36. House Debate on the Equality Act C-SPAN, May 17, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  37. Pelosi says no to draft legislation CNN, November 20, 2006. Retrieved June 7, 2019.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Bzdek, Vincent. Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. ISBN 978-0230603196.
  • Pelosi, Nancy, and Amy Hill Hearth. Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters. New York, NY: Doubleday, 2008. ISBN 978-0385525862.
  • Povich, Eliane S. Nancy Pelosi: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0313345708.
  • Sandalow, Marc. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi's Life, Times, and Rise to Power. New York, NY: Modern Times, 2008. ISBN 978-1594868078.

External links

All links retrieved November 10, 2022.


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:

The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia:

Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.