Nancy Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi currently serves the 8th Congressional district of California

Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi, a Democrat, is a U.S. Representative from the 8th Congressional district of California since 1987. She is the House Minority Leader since January 2011.[1]

Previously Pelosi was elected the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 110th Congress (2007), and resumed that role during the 111th Congress (2009). She was the first woman to hold the post of Speaker, or even lead a major political party in either house of Congress.


Record and controversies

Affordable Care Act

Pelosi was instrumental in the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").[2] With the death of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), an ardent support of healthcare reform, Pelosi was a key in continuing to push for reform after Scott Brown, a Republican, was elected to succeed Kennedy in a special election.[3] Many feared his election would be a blow to the health care bill.[4]

Iraq War

Pelosi voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[5]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Indicates opposition to proposed "troop surge" in Iraq

Pelosi (D-Calif.) stated that she, along with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), “informed the president that they were opposed to increasing troop levels.” Both Pelosi and Reid expressed their disapproval in a letter to Bush on January 5, 2007, several days before the Bush's speech announcing the "surge" but after its content was leaked to the public.

On January 7, 2006, less than one week after she officially became House Speaker, Pelosi stated, “We will not abandon them...But if the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new for him because up until now the Republican Congress has given him a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions.”[6]

During the debate in mid-February 2007 of a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq, Speaker Pelosi, who supported the measure, quoted former Ohio Sen. Robert Taft (R), who said, "Criticism in a time of war is essential to the maintenance of a democratic government" just weeks after the U.S. was bombed by Japanese forces at Pearl Harbor. The bill later passed on February 16 by a vote of 246-182. All but two Democrats, Reps. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), voted in favor of the measure. Seventeen Republicans also supported it. Following the vote, Pelosi stated that the resolution would "signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home."

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq

Opposes creation of Iraq oversight committee

On January 22, 2007, the House Republican leadership sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi which proposed the creation of a new oversight committee to monitor the progress of President Bush's Iraq plan. The panel would have defined military, political and social benchmarks in which the president would be required to submit a report to the committee every 30 days indicating whether those benchmarks had been achieved. The committee would have also addressed troop withdrawal, which would have required “an interagency assessment on the impact withdrawal would have on our national security and homeland interest,” as well as the effect withdrawal would have had on surrounding countries.

During a press conference, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stated that he believed congressional oversight of Bush’s new Iraq plan, including the decision to deploy more than 20,000 troops to the region, was necessary. He explained that, “I support the president’s plan, but we have a duty to candidly and honestly assess whether the new strategy will be effective and ultimately successful.”

The proposal was ultimately rejected by Pelosi, as she expressed confidence in the oversight ability of the already established committees. Her spokesman, Drew Hammill, stated that, “Committees in the 110th Congress are already underway on Iraq oversight...She has the upmost confidence in their ability.”[7]

Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act

Pelosi strongly supported the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act (H.R. 2956), which was sponsored by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on July 10, 2007. The bill would require that the U.S. begin redeploying troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill's passage. It would also require that the U.S. have a "limited presence" in Iraq by April 1, 2008. President Bush would need to submit a report to Congress outlining the specific goals of the remaining troops in Iraq, along with timetables for their completion. [8]

On July 12, 2007 the House passed the bill in a vote of 223-201.[9]

Before the vote, Pelosi called for a change in Iraq, saying,

“After more than 3,600 lives have been lost to a flawed strategy, we have a responsibility to create a new direction.

“After spending $329 million every day on the war in Iraq, on a war that is not making our country safer, we have an obligation to change course.

“After five years of a failed policy in Iraq, we have a duty not just to voice our opposition, but to vote to end the war.

“Chairman Skelton’s bipartisan bill offers a step we can take today toward bringing the troops home. To creating a strategic vision for stability in the Middle East, and for beginning to rearm our military."[10]

Main article: Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act#Criticisms and commendations

2007 Iraq war spending bill

On March 29, 2007, Speaker Pelosi urged President Bush to relax with threats of vetoing the House and Senate versions of the Iraq war supplemental bill. The legislation includes benchmarks and a 2008 withdrawal plan. If lawmakers cannot pass a bill with the president’s signature, it will lead to a shutdown of the Pentagon, effectively denying funding to troops in Iraq.[11]

After the first Iraq supplemental spending bill, which included a timetable for troop withdrawal, passed the House in a 218-212 vote in March 2007, Pelosi stated, "proudly, this new Congress voted to bring an end to the war in Iraq." The bill was eventually passed by both chambers and sent to the President who vetoed it as promised.

Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (H.R.1591)

Following the veto, another attempt was made an an Iraq supplemental spending bill, one that would most likely not include a troop withdrawal timetable. On May 10, Pelosi agreed to also hold a vote on an alternative measure (H.R.2237), sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), which would mandate that U.S. combat troop withdrawal begin within three months, and that it be completed six months after that. Then, the bill mandated, no congressional money could be used for military operations (though there would be an allowance for certain types of special-ops activities). The alternative measure failed by a vote of 171-255.

Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (H.R.2206)

On May 22, 2007, after numerous attempts at including timetables in an Iraq supplemental spending bill, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate announced that they would each introduce supplemental spending bills which would not include timetables for combat withdrawal. Speaker Pelosi added, however, that the House bill would feature benchmarks with consequences, such as restricting reconstruction aid to Iraq if it could not meet certain goals. When the final bill, which provided funds for the Iraq War through September 2007, came to a vote, it passed 280-142, with most Democrats,including Pelosi, opposing it.

Main article: Congressional actions to end the Iraq War in the 110th Congress

Progressive image

Pelosi is generally very progressive. She was a member of the Progressive Caucus until she became the party leader, when she adopted a policy of not belonging to any caucuses.[12]

Like most House Democrats, Pelosi opposed the resolution authorizing Bush to use military force against Iraq. She has strongly criticized the war effort since then, and introduced an amendment to the FY 2006 Defense Appropriations bill calling on Bush to specify a strategy for success in Iraq, as well as a timetable for a safe withdrawal of American troops.

Also, on July 31, 2006 Pelosi joined Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in leading top congressional Democrats in signing a letter urging President Bush to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2006. The letter was signed by the twelve leading Democrats on the House and Senate committees handling armed services, foreign relations, intelligence and military spending.[13]

In March of 2006 Pelosi received the Unsung Hero Award from the American Legion for opposing a Bush Administration policy that would "deduct any additions to disabled veterans' benefits from their military pensions."[14]

Despite receiving consistent criticism from left-leaning blogs Pelosi has been pushing her party to embrace new internet technologies, specifically blogs.[15]

Refusal to take part in event honoring Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Tom DeLay

On July 17, 2006, Roll Call reported that Pelosi was refusing to take part in a July 19 event hosted by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Thirty-seven departing members of Congress were to be honored, including former Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.). Pelosi defended her decision by saying that the two men, "have 'dishonored the House' and 'are unfit to to be honored for their service.'" When informed of Pelosi’s objections to having Cunningham’s name mentioned during the event, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) agreed, saying through a spokesman that, "it would be inappropriate to have a convicted felon on the honor roll." He did not indicate, however, that he agreed with regards to DeLay, who is awaiting a trial on conspiracy and money laundering charges.[16]

Network neutrality legislation

When Rep. Joe Barton and Sen. Ted Stevens pushed anti-network neutrality legislation in 2006, Pelosi came out in favor of neutrality, angering telecom companies and some fellow Democrats by urging her caucus to fall in line behind her. Roll Call also quoted "insiders" as saying that the damage telecom companies deal to Democrats in retaliation was low because they had already maxed out their campaign contributions to the legal limits until after the 2006 election.[17]

PAC Fined

In 2004 a political action committee (PAC), Team Majority, controlled by Pelosi was fined $21,000 for "for improperly accepting donations over federal limits, according to records and interviews."[18] Pelosi used two PACs, including Team Majority, to raise money for her colleagues during the 2002 election. The fine came from Pelosi's use of multiple PACs to exceed donation limits to other members campaign committees. Two Democratic lawmakers, Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Julie Thomas (D-Md.), paid fines of $2,500 each for receiving illegal contributions from Pelosi's PAC. Team Majority ceased operating before the fine was issued.[19]

Earmarks and "pork"

In February of 2003 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pelosi had sought a $1 million earmark for an advisor and former campaign treasurer's think tank:[20]

Pelosi's office confirmed Thursday that the San Francisco Democrat, who was elected House minority leader in November, obtained the $1 million for the USF center, without requiring [her longtime adviser and campaign treasurer, former Lt. Gov. Leo T.] McCarthy and USF to go through the normal application process for such grants. But Pelosi said the program got the money on its merits, not because of any political ties to the congresswoman.[21]

A 2005 Washington Times report alleges that Pelosi helped a campaign donor secure funds from a federal agency days after one of her staff members returned from a fact-finding trip to Spain that was funded by the donor.[22]

Pelosi and her office denied any connection between the trip and the money sought by WestStart-CALSTART. Pelosi's spokeswoman stated that Republican staffers also went on the trip to Spain.

Endorsement of Jack Murtha for Majority Leader

Following their victory in the 2006 midterm elections, congressional Democrats engaged in an intra-party struggle to determine who would be majority leader during the 110th Congress. With Pelosi ascending to the Speakership, Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), then minority whip, appeared to be the most likely candidate for the position. Challenging him was Rep. John Murtha (Pa.), a close associate of Pelosi's and an early critic of the U.S. war in Iraq. Pelosi intially vowed to stay neutral in the contest. The Sunday before the Nov. 16th caucus elections, however, Pelosi surprised political observers by openly endorsing Murtha and throwing her full weight behind him, campaigning vigorously on his behalf. This move was criticized in many circles as dividing the party when it was enjoying its largest success in recent year. She also received criticism for backing Murtha for the number two position in what she had declared would be the cleanest Congress ever given his relation to a number of ethical scandals, particularly ABSCAM of the early 1980's. The campaign for the position became exceptionally heated, with Hoyer's supporters in particular accusing Murtha's camp of strong arm tactics. Hoyer ultimately prevailed by a vote of 149-86.[23][24]

Continued hostilities with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

On February 12, 2007, hostilities between Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) heightened again after an aide in Pelosi's office said Hoyer had been "getting out in front" of a widespread consensus against allowing Republicans to introduce an alternative resolution on the Iraq war.[25]

Hoyer, on February 8, 2007, said to reporters that "Republicans would be allowed a motion to recommit or an amendment to the Democratic resolution." But then subsequently that day on the House floor, said it would be "unlikely that the GOP would get any such alternative."[26]

Hoyer's allies deny any split in leadership. However, the episode did suggest that tensions between Pelosi and Hoyer from prior disputes have not been dispelled. The most notable, although unsuccessful, seen in Pelosi's push for John Murtha (D-Pa.) as majority leader in December.[27]

National security and foreign policy

Against an invasion of Iran

In February 2007, at the House Democratic annual retreat, Speaker Pelosi informed her colleagues that "if it appears likely that Bush wants to take the country to war against Iran, the House would take up a bill to deny him the authority to do so."[28]

Trip to the Middle East

Despite vocal disapproval from the White House, Pelosi embarked on a nine-day goodwill trip to the Middle East in late March 2007. Pelosi planned to address several parliaments and heads of state, including Syria. Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), David Hobson (R-Ohio) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) are accompanying her. The trip to Syria goes against White House recommendations of avoiding the country due to, what the White House calls, state-sponsored terrorism. The White House criticized the message that Pelosi’s stop would send to U.S. allies.[29]

Think Progress, however, stated that at the time the White House was making those comments it exempted from criticism three congressional Republicans — Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.)[30] — who were then on a similar trip to Israel and Syria. Also, the Associated Press reported that in March 2007, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey had traveled to Syria to hold talks with a "senior Syrian diplomat on how Damascus was coping with a flood of Iraqi refugees, the first such talks in the Syrian capital for more than two years." [31]

White House spokesperson Dana Perino had the following exchange with a reporter on April 3, 2007, when asked about the difference between how the White House treated the two trips:

QUESTION: I want to clarify on the -- you're saying it was a bad idea, then, for Speaker Pelosi to go for all these various reasons to Syria. It's a bad idea, then, for Jim Baker to have gone, a bad idea for Frank Wolf to go as well, right?

MS. PERINO: We think that it is not a good idea for U.S. officials to go and meet with Assad, because it alleviates that pressure, and also because meetings haven't produced anything. They've been meeting just to meet, and he doesn't change his behavior. In fact, he uses those meetings as a reason to say that he doesn't need to do anything. [32]

Pelosi held talks with the Syrian president on April 4, 2007 on Syrian-Israeli relations and Syrian support of militant groups. [33]

A "day after the Pelosi delegation", on April 5, 2007, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a Lebanese-American "who frequently travels to the Middle East"[34], "headed a 3 person delegation"[35][36] that visited Syria and met with Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.[37][38]

On April 5, 2007, in a telephone interview with Rush Limbaugh[39], Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Pelosi's statements to the Syrian president as "nonsensical" and constituting "bad behavior." This criticism was, in part, a response to Pelosi conveying that Israel was open to peace talks with Syria which prompted Israel to clarify the pre-conditions to peace talks. [40]

On April 8, 2007, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich criticised Pelosi's trip as "dangerous for America", stating that it is "very important not to have two foreign policies." [41]

Views on Israel

Pelosi addressed the 2005 Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In her speech she said that the root of the Israel-Palestine conflict is the right of Israel to exist, not the occupation of Palestine, and pledged the protection of the U.S.:

""There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist... The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever."[3]

In July 2006, she threatened to boycott the speech by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki to the joint session of congress unless he repudiated his earlier criticism of Israeli aggression against Lebanon.[42]

Beginning August 8, 1991, Nancy Pelosi went on a tour of Israel as part of an Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith congressional mission. The other congressmen on the tour were: Leon Panetta, George Miller and Charles Schumer.

Pelosi has strong ties to a number of Jewish groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee whose former preident Amy Friedkin is her close friend.[43]

Applauds President Bush for tightening sanctions against Sudan

On May 29, 2007, Pelosi applauded a decision by President Bush to tighten sanctions against the government of Sudan. Bush's plan called for increasing economic and political pressure on Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to end an ongoing genocide in the country's Darfur region. Pelosi stated “The president’s decision to impose tougher economic sanctions on Sudan was the right one...It has been three years since the Bush administration correctly termed the conditions in Darfur as ‘genocide’ and it is long past time for all countries concerned by the suffering that continues in Darfur to take the steps necessary to end it.”[44]

9/11 Commission recommendations

In January 2007, while attempting to pass legislation as part of the Democrat's "First 100 Hours" agenda regarding implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, Speaker Pelosi, admitting to difficult passage in the Senate due to high costs, estimated that the costs for implementing inspections for 100 percent of air cargo alone would cost $3.6 to $6 billion annually.

Main article: Congressional efforts to implement recommendations of the 9/11 commission

No smoking in the Speaker's lobby

On January 10, 2007, Pelosi banned smoking from the Speaker's Lobby, saying, "The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over...Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example." Pelosi's ban did not prohibit lawmakers from smoking in their own offices.[45]

Congressional air travel

Flight compensation

In March 2007, a liaison from Speaker Pelosi met with Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office in order to amend the House rules regarding compensation for Congressional air travel. The rules were changed in January, requiring Congressmen to pay non-commercial aircraft owners the full price of a ticket, which the FAA rules prohibit. While this has prevented Members from using lobbyists aircraft, it also grounded several personal aircraft amongst Democratic and Republican Lawmakers. Pelosi was attempting to change the rules via voice-vote, (which required unanimous consent) but Boehner has refused to consider "piecemeal changes" and was holding out for other Rules changes regarding earmarks.

Eventually, on May 2 2007, the House voted by voice vote on H.R.363 to remove airplane travel restrictions. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Samuel Graves (R-Mo.). The new rules allow members to fly in a friend's airplane for free. The rules change also provides that members who are certified pilots may again fly their own aircraft.

Main article: U.S. federal ethics, transparency, and campaign finance legislation, 110th Congress

Use of Air Force transportation

In early February 2007, Department of Defense officials criticized Pelosi for using Air Force transportation in extravagance. Pelosi admitted to using a C-32 to fly coast to coast (from Washington to San Francisco) without refueling, but claims that she did not request the military version of a Boeing-757 specifically. Pelosi further claimed that the criticism was a retributive attack for her past criticism of Donald Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq. On February 8, 2007, White House spokesman Tony Snow called the affair "silly" and "unfair to the speaker."[46]


On May 20th 2007, Speaker Pelosi issued a series of criticisms regarding the Senate's immigration bill. Specifically, she mentioned the 'point system' of the guest worker program and that it was anti-family. She stated, "the family unification principles which had been fundamental to American immigration are disrupted by what is in there now.”[47]

Main article: U.S. immigration legislation

Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement deal

On May 10, 2007, Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), struck a deal with President Bush that secured their support for the Peru-U.S. agreement in exchange for inserting provisions that protect workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. The Peruvian government would also have to agree to the changes before Congress could consider the agreement.[48]

Main article: Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement

Ethics reform

After emerging victorious in the November 7, 2006 elections Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi pledged "to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history." Pelosi also pledged to sever the ties between K Street, the Washington corridor of lobbying firms, and Congress. As incoming Speaker, Pelosi also stated that she would push to make the sponsors of congressional earmarks public prior to votes. She stated, "There has to be transparency ... I'd just as soon do away with all (earmarks), but that probably isn't realistic."

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006

Minority Leader Pelosi introduced The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006 on January 20, 2006, in the wake of numerous guilty pleas by and indictments of lobbyists and members of Congress. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Ban lobbyists from giving gifts or travel to members or their staff.
  • Require lobbyists to file electronic, quarterly reports. The report must contain information pertaining to efforts to stimulate grassroots support, previous work in the executive or legislative branches, and provide certification of the report with the possibility of criminal penalties for failing to submit a certified report. The bill also creates a searchable public database of lobbying reports.
  • Double the "cooling-off" period where lawmakers, staff, and Executive branch employees cannot lobby there former offices of employment from one-year to two-years.
  • Stop efforts like the "K Street Project" by banning efforts of members of Congress and staff to enforce partisan discipline in private organizations. The penalty would be a fine or up to 15 years in prison with a possible ban on serving public office.
  • Require lawmakers, staff, and Executive employees to disclose outside job negotiations and to receive approval from the Office of Government Ethics.
  • Require conference committees to be open to the public and require conference reports to be publicly available on the Internet at least 24 hours prior to a vote.
  • Require that any appointee to a public safety position have proven credentials and training in one or more areas that are relevant.
  • Provide oversight of government contracting. Require contractors to work for contracts in an open, competitive bidding process. Create stiffer penalties for wartime fraud and prohibit contractors with conflicts of interest from participating in competitive bidding.

The bill was referred to six committees, Judiciary, Rules, Government Reform, Standards and Conduct, Armed Services, and Administration, and failed to emerge from any one of the six.

Independent ethics commission

On February 1, 2007, Speaker Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced the creation of a "task force" to study implementation of an outside ethics body to oversee Congress. The task force, chaired by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), issued it's report to the House in May 2007.

On June 1, 2007, Pelosi announced her intention to create an independent ethics commission that would allow outside groups to file complaints against members of Congress, which previously could only be filed by other members. The commission, as proposed by a special task force chaired by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), could filter complaints but have no judging authority.[49] Implementation of the new commission was delayed, however, as many members were worried by the ability of non-members to submit complaints, fearing the change would be abused with politically motivated attacks. Fifty-three House members signed onto an alternative piece of ethics legislation, introduced by Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), which would create a powerful investigative panel consisting of 12 former representatives, but would only allow complaints from sitting members. According to advocates familiar with the proposal in the House, the ethics panel would include the following components:

  • Republicans and Democrats would appoint an even number of members to the panel — most likely three GOP and three Democratic appointees. Current lawmakers and lobbyists could not sit on the panel.
  • The panel would receive complaints from outside groups and then invite witnesses to provide relevant testimony.
  • The panel would not have subpoena power or the power to put witnesses under oath.
  • Upon receiving a complaint, the panel would have 45 days to compile a report recommending dismissal or further action and pass it to the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee. If the panel could not complete its report within 45 days, it could grant itself a short extension.
  • The ethics committee would have up to 90 days to create an investigative subcommittee to probe the complaint or vote to dismiss it. If the committee voted to dismiss the complaint, the independent panel’s report would be made publicly available.

Several congressional watchdog groups came out against the measure, citing a provision that requires organizations that submit complaints to the independent ethics committee to disclose their donors, putting the legislation in danger of failing. Organizations like Public Citizen, Common Cause, Democracy 21, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, who had made the creation of such an outside ethics board a major priority since the Jack Abramoff scandal, felt that having to disclose their donors was not a necessary part of reform and could put them in jeopardy. Members of the House pushing for the outside ethics office argued that watchdog groups can't call for openness in Congress, while denying transparency on their part. The reform organizations also argued that the ethics panel as it was being considered in the House was not strong enough to produce real ethics reform, making calls to strengthen the potential committee's investigative authority and provide it with subpoena power.

Main article: Prospects for Ethics Reform in the 110th Congress

Election reform

On June 25, 2007, the House passed by voice vote the 'Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007, sponsored by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). The bill, still pending passage in the Senate, would establish criminal penalties for acts of voter deception. Those who knowingly disseminate false information with the intention of keeping others from voting would face up to five years in prison under the legislation. Pelosi, who supported the measure, stated that the bill focused on "voter suppression tactics using misinformation and deception targeted at minority voters," and that "disenfranchising voters through deception about time, place, or eligibility for voting must be illegal."

Main article: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007

DC voting rights

After the Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections, Pelosi expressed interest in pursuing congressional voting rights for the District of Columbia through the District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007. Previously, in 2006, Pelsoi endorsed an earlier version of the bill by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) after it was clear that it would not call for the Utah state legislature to redraw its congressional districts as part of a compromise giving the state an additional House seat as well. Immediately following the 2006 elections, as speaker-elect, Pelosi said that she would seek to change House rules on the first day of the 110th Congress to temporarily allow the District's delegate (in this case Eleanor Holmes Norton) to vote on proposed changes, but not final approval of legislation on the floor. She also reaffirmed her support for the bill put forth by Davis and Norton in the 109th Congress.

Main article: District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007

Impeachment of President George W. Bush

In statements she made to the Washington Post in early 2006, then-House Minority Leader Pelosi left open the possibility that if Democrats took over the House after the November 2006 elections, their planned investigations into the Bush administration could lead to impeachment. Although impeachment would not be the goal of the investigations, she said, "You never know where it leads to."

In May 2006, the Washington Post reported that Pelosi was not interested in pursuing impeachment and had taken it "off the table." She reiterated this position throughout the 2006 campaign, noting on 60 Minutes that Republicans would "just love" the "waste of time" the proceedings would be. She added that "Making them lame good enough for me."

After the Democrats won control of the House in November 2006, Speaker-elect Pelosi reinforced that any effort to impeach President Bush was "off the table."

Main article: Efforts to initiate the impeachment of President George W. Bush


Pelosi was born March 26, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., was a U.S. Congressman from Maryland and also a Mayor of Baltimore, the latter office having been held also by her brother Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III in the late 1960s.

Pelosi attended Trinity College (now Trinity University) in Washington, DC. She married and moved to San Francisco where she became involved in Democratic politics, working her way up to becoming party chairwoman for Northern California. In 1984 she served as the head of the host committee for the Democratic National Convention that year. In 1986, the year before she was elected to Congress, Pelosi served as Finance Chair to the successful Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which helped the Democrats win back the Senate.

The Pelosi family has a net worth of over $25 million, mainly investments of husband Paul Pelosi. Besides a San Francisco Bay area large portfolio of jointly owned real estate, he also has millions of dollars worth of shares in publicly traded companies such as Microsoft, and AT&T.[50] The Pelosi family of San Francisco is politically well-connected. Her brother-in-law, Ron Pelosi, was a long-time member of the city's Board of Supervisors and a well-known personality on KQED, the city's educational television station. She has five children and six grandchildren.

Pelosi won in a special election to succeed Sala Burton and took office on June 2, 1987. She was elected to a full term in 1988 and has easily held the seat since. She has never faced a credible Republican opponent, which is not surprising since Republicans only make up 13 percent of registered voters in the district.

After the Tiananmen protests of 1989, Pelosi became a supporter of the Chinese democracy movement and vocal critic of the government of the People's Republic of China and sponsored the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992.

In 2001, she defeated Steny Hoyer to become the House Minority Whip, serving as second-in-command to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri.

After the electoral defeat of 2002, Gephardt decided to run for President in 2004 and bowed out of his Minority Leader position. The leadership election pitted Pelosi against Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Tennessee centrist Harold Ford, Jr. She stated in 2002, "We must draw clear distinctions between our vision of the future and the extreme policies put forward by the Republicans. We cannot allow Republicans to pretend they share our values and then legislate against those values without consequence."[51]

During the run-up to the 2002 mid-term elections Pelosi showcased what her leadership would look like by opposing Gephardt's decision to back President Bush's Iraq war resolution.[52]

After Kaptur dropped out of the race, Pelosi bested Ford in a 177-29 vote. By way of her victory Pelosi made history by becoming the first woman to lead a party in Congress.[53]

Pelosi has led the Democratic caucus on any number of issues. Despite losing many critical votes, she and her leadership team have been able to bring a unity to the Democratic caucus that hasn't existed for decades.[54] Congressional Quarterly examined over 600 roll call votes from 2005 where "a majority of Republicans voted against a majority of Democrats" and found that Democrats voted unanimously 82 times and on the party line 88 percent of the time. These are the highest numbers since CQ began keeping a tally of roll call votes in 1956.[55] She also worked hard to defeat the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, which passed the House after 16 Democrats joined the Republicans in voting "yes". She calls the Medicare vote her biggest disappointment.[56]

Pelosi has often allowed members of the Democratic caucus to showcase positions or pieces of legislation rather than keeping the media coverage for herself. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) introduced a resolution challenging President Bush to come back to House and seek an authorization to use military force before invading Iraq, for example. Another example is that of John Murtha's call for a withdrawal from Iraq. Pelosi coordinated Murtha's call for withdrawal from behind the scenes while trying to appease the part of the party that opposed Murtha's plan.[57]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Michael A. Denunzio, and the Green Party nominated Krissy Keefer to face Pelosi in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) Pelosi overwhelmingly won reelection, receiving 80% of the vote.[58][59]

Speaker of the House

Following the Democratic victory in the 2006 midterm elections in which the party regained a majority in the House fro the first time since 1994, Pelosi became the consensus candidate to become Speaker of the House when the 110th Congress convened in January 2006. She was unanimously selected for the position by her peers on November 16, 2006, thus becoming the first woman ever elected Speaker of the House.[60] Pelosi maintained this position through the 111th Congress.

2008 elections

"And, the speaker said again in an interview Friday that was aired today, the decisions of the party's "super-delegates" to the Democratic National Convention should "reflect" which candidate has claimed the most pledged delegates in a contest which she believes will end well before the convention in Denver."[61]

2010 elections

After the Democracts suffered steap losses in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pelosi would be forced to step down from her position as House Speaker. She would be elected as House Minority Leader only a few weeks later, many citing her leadership through the passing of the Healthcare Bill as reason for her appointment.[62]

House Minority Leader

When the Republican party gained a majority in the 112th Congress, Pelosi was succeed as Speaker of the House by Representative John Boehner (R-OH). She decided to run for House Minority Leader as was elected for the 112th Congress. She was chosen to return to this role for the 113th Congress.[63]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00007360&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Nancy Pelosi
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and affiliations


As the House Speaker, Pelosi does not belong to any committees.

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and caucuses

  • Co Chair, Democratic National Platform Committee, 1992
  • Chair, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, 1985
  • Co Chair, AIDS Task Force of the House Democratic Caucus
  • Co Chair, Biomedical Research Caucus
  • Chair, Congressional Working Group on China
  • Vice Chair, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Democratic Homeland Security Task Force
  • Democratic National Committee
  • Chair, Democratic Steering Committee
  • Vice Chair, Executive Committee, Democratic Study Group

Boards and other affiliations

More background data

Wikipedia also has an article on Nancy Pelosi. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
2371 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0508
Phone: 202-225-4965
Fax: 202-225-8259
Email: sf.nancy AT
Web Email

District Office - San Francisco:
450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102-3460
Phone: 415-556-4862
Fax: 415-861-1670


Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Nancy Pelosi profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
  2. Carl Hulse and Robert Pear, "Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House", New York Times, November 7, 2009
  3. Jeff Zeleny and Carl Hulse, "Health Vote Caps a Journey Back From the Brink", New York Times, March 20, 2010
  4. David Herszenhorn and Robert Pear, "democrats seek options to keep health bill alive", New York Times], January 19, 2010
  5. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  6. "Pelosi: No blank check for troop surge," CNN. January 7, 2007.
  7. Jackie Kucinich. "House GOP proposes bipartisan Iraq oversight," The Hill. January 23, 2007.
  8. "OpenCongress page on H.R.2956," OpenCongress.
  9. Mike Soraghan and Manu Raju. "Key vote on the Iraq war keeps House GOP united," The Hill. July 13, 2007.
  10. "Pelosi Floor Statement on Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act," Speaker Nancy Pelosi. July 12, 2007.
  11. Jonathan E. Kaplan. "Pelosi tells Bush to ‘calm down threats’," The Hill. March 28, 2007.
  12. Edward Epstein. "Liberal legislative caucus envisions post-Bush era," San Fransisco Chronicle. July 5, 2005.
  13. Charles Babington and Jim VandeHei. "Hill Democrats Unite to Urge Bush to Begin Iraq Pullout," Washington Post. August 1, 2006.
  14. Harold Meyerson. "How Nancy Pelosi Took Control," The American Prospect. May 12, 2004.
  15. [1] The Hill.
  16. John Bresnahan. "Pelosi Blasts Citations of DeLay, Cunningham," Roll Call. July 17, 2006.
  17. Tory Newmyer. "Push by Pelosi Irks Telecoms," Roll Call. May 10, 2006.
  18. "Pelosi PAC fined $21,000 by federal elections officials," USA Today. February 11, 2004.
  19. "Pelosi PAC fined $21,000 by federal elections officials," USA Today. February 11, 2004.
  20. Edward Epstein. "Pelosi accused of pork-barrel politics," San Fransisco Chronicle. February 21, 2003.
  21. Edward Epstein. "Pelosi accused of pork-barrel politics," San Fransisco Chronicle. February 21, 2003.
  22. "In Case You Missed It: Pelosi Helped Donor To PAC,"The Washington Times, (Accessed via April 5, 2005.
  23. Jonathan Weisman and Lois Romano. "Pelosi Splits Democrats With Push For Murtha," Washington Post. November 16, 2006.
  24. Jonathan Weisman and Lois Romano. "Democrats Pick Hoyer Over Murtha," Washington Post. November 17, 2007.
  25. Jonathan E. Kaplan. "Pelosi, Hoyer at odds again," The Hill. February 13, 2007.
  26. Jonathan E. Kaplan. "Pelosi, Hoyer at odds again," The Hill. February 13, 2007.
  27. Jonathan E. Kaplan. "Pelosi, Hoyer at odds again," The Hill. February 13, 2007.
  28. Michael Abramowitz and Paul Kane. "At Democrats' Meeting, Bush Appeals for Cooperation," Washington Post. February 4, 2007.
  29. Chris Good, "White House disapproves of Pelosi's Syria trip," The Hill, March 30, 2007.
  30. Helen Cooper and Carl Hulse, "As One Syria Trip Draws Fire, Others Draw Silence," New York Times, April 7, 2007
  31. "Exclusive: Republican Delegation Currently Visiting Syria, Spared From White House Attacks," Think Progress, March 30, 2007.
  32. Josh Marshall, blog post,, April 3, 2007.
  33. "Pelosi, Syrian president meet," USA Today, April 4, 2007.
  34. "Republican congressman meets with Syria's Assad," Associated Press, April 6, 2007
  35. "U.S. Congressmen meets with Syria's President Assad,", April 5, 2007
  36. "Republican member of US Congress meets Syria's Assad,", April 6, 2007
  37. Carla Marinucci, "Pelosi, Lantos may be interested in diplomatic trip to Iran," San Franciso Chronicle, April 10, 2007
  38. "Republican Congressman Visits Syria After Controversial Pelosi Trip," Voice of America News, April 6, 2007
  39. Helen Cooper and Carl Hulse, "As One Syria Trip Draws Fire, Others Draw Silence," New York Times, April 7, 2007
  40. Mike Soraghan, "Cheney: Pelosi’s Syria visit constitutes ‘bad behavior’," The Hill, April 5, 2007.
  41. Chris Good, "Gingrich criticizes Pelosi over Syria visit," The Hill, April 8, 2007.
  42. "PACing in the Marionettes," The Fanonite. March 14, 2007.
  43. Jennifer Jacobson. "For Pelosi, Israel is personal," JTA. November 8, 2006.
  44. Kara Oppenheim, "Pelosi praises Bush for tightening Sudan sanctions," The Hill, May 29, 2007.
  45. Erica Werner. "Pelosi Bans Smoking Near House Floor," Washington Post. January 10, 2007.
  46. "House sergeant-at-arms ordered Pelosi plane," MSNBC. February 8, 2007.
  47. Jeremy Jacobs, "Pelosi lays out criticism of immigration bill" The Hill, May 20, 2007.
  48. Doug Palmer, "Democrats, Bush strike deal on trade," Reuters, May 11, 2007.
  49. Mike Soraghan, "Pelosi committed to allowing outside groups file ethics complaints," The Hill, June 1, 2007.
  50. Zachary Coile. "Bay lawmakers among wealthiest," San Fransisco Chronicle. June 26, 2004.
  51. Harold Meyerson. "How Nancy Pelosi Took Control," The American Prospect. May 12, 2004.
  52. Harold Meyerson. "How Nancy Pelosi Took Control," The American Prospect. May 12, 2004.
  53. Sean Loughlin. "Democrats pick Pelosi as House leader," CNN. November 15, 2002.
  54. Marc Sandalow, Erin McCormick. "Pelosi's goal: Democrats back on top," San Fransisco Chronicle. April 2, 2006.
  55. Marc Sandalow, Erin McCormick. "Pelosi's goal: Democrats back on top," San Fransisco Chronicle. April 2, 2006.
  56. Harold Meyerson. "How Nancy Pelosi Took Control," The American Prospect. May 12, 2004.
  57. Amy Sullivan. "Not as Lame as You Think," Washington Monthly. May 2006.
  58. 2006 Congressional Races in California Center for Responsive Politics.
  59. 2006 Races in California CNN.
  60. Jonathan Weisman and Lois Romano. "Democrats Pick Hoyer Over Murtha," Washington Post. November 17, 2007.
  61. Mark Silva, "Pelosi: Party should heed the will of the voters", The Swamp, presented by The Baltimore Sun, March 16, 2008
  62. New York Times Nancy Pelosi bio [2] Accessed 10/9/2012
  63. Jennifer Steinhauer, "Pelosi ‘Wouldn’t Think of Walking Away’ From Job as Minority Leader", New York Times, November 14, 2012
  64. Life Trustees, Leakey Foundation, accessed March 2, 2010.
  65. Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award, American Immigration Lawyers Association, accessed August 24, 2009.

External resources

Pelosi's Websites

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
June 2, 1987
First Took Current Office:
June 2, 1987
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Chair, Northern California Democratic Party 1977-81,State Chair, California Democratic Party, 1981-83,Co-Chair, 1992 Democratic National Platform Committee, Chair, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, 1985
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor San Francisco, CA 94102-3460
Phone: 415-556-4862 / Fax: 415-861-1670

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: March 26, 1940