Pelosi Steps Down
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) announced yesterday she would step down as House Democratic leader but remain as a rank-and-file member of Congress, yielding one of the most powerful positions on Capitol Hill after two decades. The decision comes after Republicans retook majority of the chamber during the midterm elections and weeks after an intruder severely injured her husband in what police say was a politically motivated attack at their San Francisco residence. Pelosi, first elected to Congress in 1987, was elected House minority leader in 2002 and became the first woman to assume the speaker's gavel in 2007. Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D, NY-8) is viewed as her likely replacement; see other potential candidates here. Current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) is expected to become House speaker when the new Congress convenes Jan. 3. With seven races yet to be called, Republicans have won the 218 seats needed for a majority, with projections suggesting they may capture an additional three to four seats.