House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Nov. 17 announced she would step down from leadership of House Democrats after Republicans flipped the lower chamber.
“Scripture teaches us that for everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,” Pelosi said on the House floor in Washington.
“For me, the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility,” she added.
Pelosi, 82, said she will remain in Congress.
Pelosi won reelection in the midterms with 84 percent of the vote, easily defeating Republican John Dennis.
During the speech, which frequently drew applause, Pelosi recounted visiting the Capitol for the first time when she was young, with her father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., a congressman at the time.
“When I first came to the House floor at 6 years old, never would I have thought that I would go from homemaker to House speaker,” she said.
Pelosi has been the top Democrat in the House since 2003, including several stints as speaker, a position held by a member of the majority.
Pelosi had vowed not to run for speaker again but didn’t make any promises about being the top Democrat in the House if Democrats were in the minority.
Republicans flipped the House this week and will secure control once the new Congress convenes in January 2023.
Pelosi hasn’t endorsed a successor.
Pelosi’s comments came after a report that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has chosen not to run for a House Democrat leadership position.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who has long been rumored as the frontrunner to replace Pelosi, now has one less contender to deal with, Politico reported.
Spokespersons for Schiff, 62, and Jeffries, 52, didn’t respond to requests for comment.