Nancy Pelosi arrived at the Capitol on Thursday, without indicating whether she has decided to remain in the Democratic leadership or if she will step down after two decades of service.
Dressed in a white suit – the color of suffragettes – Pelosi, 82, smiled as she walked into the president’s office but did not answer questions about what was next for her.
Pelosi will announce his plans from the House floor at 12:10 p.m., his spokesperson said. Aides warned that she was keeping her own advice and not planning what she would do. Last night she took home two versions of her speech.
There has been talk that she could remain in Congress in some sort of emeritus role that would give her adviser status — both to House Democrats and to President Joe Biden.
Pelosi, four years ago, pledged not to seek to lead her party after January 2023. But she is unlikely to leave Congress just weeks after voters in her district elected her to another two-year term.
If she steps down as leader, Democrats would have to decide how to replace her as House leader, but her successors would have avoided any public jockeys until Pelosi officially announces her plans.
Pelosi’s two longtime lieutenants – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina – are also in their 80s and are making decisions about their future.
The two said Thursday morning that they plan to stay involved in leadership, but did not say whether they would try for the top spot.
Many believe New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, would be the party’s next leader.
Jeffries, 52, is a leader among the next generation of lawmakers, who have been pushing for the older generation to step aside to make way for a new generation of leaders.
He declined to talk about his next steps on Thursday morning. He walked out of a party leadership meeting, which Pelosi did not attend, saying he was eager to hear from him about his next steps.
He also called Pelosi a “legendary leader”.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives at the Capitol on Thursday morning, giving no indication of her decision on her future
Nancy Pelosi has been a leader in Democratic politics for more than two decades
Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul at an event in New York in 2007 Paul Pelosi is recovering from a brutal attack
New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic caucus, is expected to run for leader if Pelosi steps down
Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2007, she is shown above after being sworn in, surrounded by her grandchildren and the children of other members of Congress
Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump clashed frequently when in office – above Pelosi applauds as she arrives for her 2019 State of the Union address
Nancy Pelosi in 1987, the night she won a special congressional election
Democrats are due to hold a leadership election on Nov. 30.
Her decision on her future plans also comes following a brutal attack on her husband, Paul Pelosi. Paul Pelosi is still recovering from being attacked by a hammer from a man who broke into their San Francisco home, looking for the speaker, who was not there.
Pelosi also decided to make his announcement after Republicans officially took control of the House on Wednesday. The deciding race was called a week after Election Day, giving Republicans the 218th seat needed to swing the House from Democratic control.
But Democrats managed to fend off an expected red wave and the GOP will have one of the narrowest seat margins in history, complicating their efforts to govern.
Pelosi was a towering figure in American history and was, at one time, the most powerful woman in government.
She once described ruling House Democrats with an iron fist in a velvet glove. She has remained in power through Democratic victories and defeats, surviving the presidency of Donald Trump and her own party’s calls for a new generation of leaders.
Her fundraising prowess (she has raised over $1 billion for Democrats), her tireless campaigning, and her personal relationships with her members have kept her at the top of the list.
Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi was born in Baltimore on March 26, 1940. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro, was a Democratic congressman from Maryland who became mayor of Baltimore.
She grew up in politics, learned about her father’s campaign and attended the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.
She met Paul Pelosi in college. They married after school and eventually settled in San Francisco. She worked in California state politics, eventually becoming the state party leader.
When Representative Phillip Burton, who represented San Francisco, died in 1983, his wife Sala replaced him in Congress. But she died a few years later and chose Pelosi as her designated successor.
Pelosi won that 1987 special election and has been easily re-elected ever since.
She rose through the House leadership ranks and became Speaker in 2007, the first woman to hold the position. She served there during the presidency of George W. Bush and the early years of Barack Obama.
She is credited with helping Obama pass the Affordable Health Care Act. But then Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 election, making Pelosi the minority leader.
When the Democrats again won a majority in the House in 2018, Pelosi returned to the presidency.
She has become President Donald Trump’s pet peeve. She did not hesitate to challenge him, especially during delicate legislative negotiations.
She tore up her 2020 State of the Union Address to Congress, in a public display of disgust at the address, as she sat behind him on the House podium.
And she oversaw two impeachments of him on the House floor. He was acquitted by the Senate in both cases.
She was overseeing the counting of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6 when her security rushed her out of the Capitol building as Trump’s MAGA supporters stormed the building.
Nancy Pelosi in 1987, when she first ran for Congress
Pelosi helped pass the Affordable Care Act, she was seen in the White House in March 2010, when President Obama signed it.
Nancy Pelosi had an antagonistic relationship with President Donald Trump, above she was seen in the Oval Office with him, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer in December 2018
Nancy Pelosi can be seen at left in this 1961 photo of her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., speaking with President John F. Kennedy after he was sworn in to become a member of the Federal Council of Renegotiation.
She enjoyed renewed acclaim when the House committee investigating the insurrection showed footage of her that day.
She was hiding in a safe place with the rest of the Congressional leadership and working on the phone requesting reinforcements from the Capitol Police and helping to secure the Capitol. At one point, she opened a packet of jerkey with her teeth, talking and eating at the same time.
She also spoke with then-Vice President Mike Pence, asking him about his safety.
Once the Capitol was secure, she and Pence returned to the House floor to oversee the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Along with his rise to national prominence, Pelosi has become a boogey man for Republicans. They denounced her as the San Francisco liberal, using her to raise funds and campaign against her.