Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday swatted away a question about whether she would serve her full, two-year term in the next Congress as the longtime Democratic leader prepares to step down from the caucus’s top brass next month.
“What is this? What is this? Don’t bother me with a question like that,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference when asked if she would commit to serving her full term for her San Francisco district.
“Really, really, OK. I said what I’m gonna do. You know, those kinds of questions are such a waste of my time,” she added.
The question came during what may be Pelosi’s last press conference as Speaker as she gets ready to leave Democratic leadership in the next Congress.
The California Democrat handily won reelection in November, securing her 18th full term in Congress by more than 65 percentage points. She was first elected to the House in a special election in 1987, then won her first full term in 1988.
Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for nearly two decades, then announced during a floor speech last month that she would step down from leadership in the next Congress but remain in the chamber as a rank-in-file member.
“This I will continue to do as a member of the House: speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California and defending our Constitution,” Pelosi said during her floor speech. “And with great confidence in our Caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
Rumors, however, have continued to swirl around whether Pelosi, 82, will serve out the full term she just won and, if she were to bow out of Congress, who would succeed her.
Politico reported last month, before the midterm elections, that Christine Pelosi, one of the Speaker’s daughters, could succeed her, in addition to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D).
The Speaker on Thursday noted that her time as the top Democrat is coming to an end.
“And so, here we are, this may be the last time I see you in this way,” she told reporters at her weekly press conference.
Asked how she wants her legacy of serving in leadership to be remembered, Pelosi said, “Nothing in any of the years that I was there compares to the Affordable Care Act.”
Pelosi was Speaker when then-President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law and played a central role in getting it passed through Congress.