Pelosi's departure could trigger change of guard among House Democrats
Democratic lawmakers could witness a reshuffle with the new leadership after Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi's departure as House Democratic Leader may signal a reshuffle within the ranks of Democratic congresspeople, with younger members gaining prominence, experts told Sputnik.
The 118th Congress convenes on January 3, 2023, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans controlling the House as a result of the November midterm elections.
Who will succeed Pelosi?
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy is poised to succeed Pelosi in a leadership vote on the first day of the new Congress, despite opposition from several colleagues who could jeopardize his bid due to the party's narrow majority in the lower chamber.
Meanwhile, Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives elected Congressman Hakeem Jeffries to lead the party in the lower chamber during the new Congress in late November. Pelosi will continue to represent San Francisco in the lower house despite her decision to relinquish leadership.
Pelosi's legislative career spans 35 years, during which she was elected as the first woman to serve as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 2007, a position she would retake in 2019.
What did Pelosi do as Speaker?
During her tenure as House Democratic leader, she was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, impeached then-President Donald Trump twice, and visited Taiwan in 2022, violating the One-China principle and increasing tensions with Beijing.
"There's someone who will be – somewhere in this Congress is a woman – future woman Speaker-to-be. I'm honored to be the first, but it will only be a good accomplishment if I’m not the last," Pelosi said at her portrait unveiling ceremony in the US Capitol's Statuary Hall in December, while also reiterating her commitment to representing San Francisco in the next Congress.
'PR' over politics
Some see Pelosi as a consummate Washington insider and machine politician par excellence who owes her success to the country's political system.
"I don't consider Nancy Pelosi to be a particularly significant political figure. She is a mediocrity who happens to have the right connections. Anything she has achieved is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Keith Preston, anarchist theoretician, and analyst opined.
Despite this, Pelosi was able to maintain a high level of party unity. At the same time, her departure as a speaker could represent the end of one era and the beginning of another.
"It does seem to suggest a changing of the guard, with a generational shift in leadership, one that probably will consolidate the left's influence over the congressional party - something that is likely to make a bipartisan compromise, whether under Biden or a Republican president, even more, difficult to achieve," Singh noted.
Preston, for one, believes that the House Democrats' legislative strategy will remain unchanged under new leadership.
"It also seems a younger generation of Democrats may be assuming more significant leadership roles. It is doubtful there will be any basic changes to the Democrats' legislative agenda, which is beholden to a range of donor and lobbying interests. And the same contemporary model of partisan politics will likely continue unabated," he concluded.