Rumblings of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) impending retirement have swirled for several years, but they’re more real than ever now that Republicans appear to be poised to boot her from House leadership in November.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) — a member of Pelosi’s House leadership team — told the Hill this week that he believes Pelosi will indeed retire in 2022.
81-year-old Pelosi has ruled the House with an iron fist for years, but as her time in power is clearly winding down, Democrat representatives are starting to agitate about who their new leader will be, and up-n-comers are jostling for a place at the head of the line.
“My gut would tell me that this would be her last term,” Yarmuth said, “I see a lot of people who would be the presumed successors donating a lot of money to their colleagues.”
“If we’re in the minority, I can’t imagine her wanting to do it,” another anonymous lawmaker predicted.
Pelosi herself has not commented on her plans for 2022, though the longtime Dem leader did indicate after winning her party’s nomination for House Speaker in 2020 that it would be her last term in leadership.
Speculation about Pelosi’s potential replacement is already running wild, with many assuming that the role will fall to either Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), or Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA).
There are rumblings of wild-card candidates such as Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) or Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) also vying for the position, although their odds are considerably less favorable than those the more obvious candidates.
When asked about the Speaker’s plans, spokesman Drew Hammil replied that “The Speaker is not on a shift, she’s on a mission.”