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January 31, 2023
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Nancy Pelosi to announce her future plans Thursday after Democrats lose House

WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, will announce plans for her future in a speech on the House floor Thursday, a spokesman said.

Pelosi’s consequential decision — to stay on as Democratic leader after two decades in the job or step aside for a new generation of leaders — comes just a day after NBC News and other news outlets projected that Republicans had flipped control of the House in last week’s midterm election, sending Pelosi and the Democrats back to the minority.

More personally, just weeks ago, her husband of nearly 60 years, Paul Pelosi, survived an assault by a hammer-wielding intruder at the family’s home in San Francisco.

The speaker’s plans are still unclear, but a source told NBC News that she took home two different versions of the speech she plans to deliver. She is expected to speak at 12:10 p.m. ET.

“We’re all waiting for white smoke from the Vatican,” one senior Democratic lawmaker told NBC News.

Pelosi, 82, has been a central player in passing the most significant laws in recent history, from President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance measure and President Joe Biden’s climate change initiative to President George W. Bush’s Wall Street bailout and President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 rescue programs.

Before the midterm elections, some of her fellow Democrats, including moderate Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, openly called for fresh blood in the ranks of party leadership.

The top three House Democratic leaders — Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina — have led the caucus for nearly two years and are all in their 80s.

The calls continued in the days after the election — even with control of the House undecided.

“Whether we hold the majority or lose it by one to five seats, it’s time for a new generation of leadership. Period,” Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., said shortly after the midterm elections.

Clyburn said Thursday he plans to stay in Democratic leadership no matter what Pelosi does. Clyburn told Meet the Press Now in September he intended to stay on, but added it might be in an “advisory” role.

Asked about Pelosi’s role leading the caucus over the last two decades, Clyburn told NBC News, “She has done absolutely great. Fantastic. History-making in more ways than one.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Jonathan Allen is a senior national politics reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.

Scott Wong is a senior congressional reporter for NBC News. 

Ryan Nobles

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Sahil Kapur

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