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Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

Overview
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi
(icon; born March 26, 1940) is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door caucus by secret ballot and are also known as floor leaders. The U.S. House of Representatives does not officially use the term "Minority Leader", although the media frequently does...

 and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 from 2007 to 2011. She was the first woman to hold the office and to date, has been the highest-ranking female politician in American history.

A member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, Pelosi has represented the 8th Congressional District
California's 8th congressional district
California's 8th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that covers most of the city and county of San Francisco except for the southwestern parts of the city which are included in the 12th Congressional District....

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, which consists of four-fifths of the City and County of San Francisco, since 1987.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

Why should we put a plan out? Our plan is to stop him. He must be stopped.

Referring to George W. Bush on Fox News (March 17, 2005)

[T]hey had to make up that story about weapons of mass destruction. Because that was the only thing that would sell to the American people, and that wasn't true.

The Daily Show|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (November 30, 2005)

As many of you know, I come from San Francisco. We don't have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one—it's a mushroom farm, so you know what that means.

To The Agribusiness Club of Washington (July 24, 2006)

Maybe it will take a woman to clean up the House.

Interview with Barbara Walters|Barbara Walters (December 13, 2006)

A woman is like a teabag. You can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

Interview with ABC News|ABC News, as quoted by Hilary Rodham Clinton|Hilary Clinton.

I say to my colleagues never confine your best work, your hopes, your dreams, the aspiration of the American people to what will be signed by George W. Bush because that is too limiting a factor.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table.

Am I going to have to use my ‘Mother of Five Voice’ to be heard?" (to an inattentive audience while campaigning)-Quoted in the October 23, 2006 issue of Newsweek

The word 'campaign' is a war term. So when you go into a campaign you just prepare to go to war. If you think this is an exercise in civic activity...then you are going to be surprised.-1985

Encyclopedia
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi
(icon; born March 26, 1940) is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door caucus by secret ballot and are also known as floor leaders. The U.S. House of Representatives does not officially use the term "Minority Leader", although the media frequently does...

 and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 from 2007 to 2011. She was the first woman to hold the office and to date, has been the highest-ranking female politician in American history.

A member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, Pelosi has represented the 8th Congressional District
California's 8th congressional district
California's 8th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that covers most of the city and county of San Francisco except for the southwestern parts of the city which are included in the 12th Congressional District....

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, which consists of four-fifths of the City and County of San Francisco, since 1987. The district was numbered as the 5th
California's 5th congressional district
California's 5th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California. It currently covers the city of Sacramento, the state capital, its suburbs and the surrounding area....

 during Pelosi's first three terms in the House. She served as the House Minority Whip
Party whips of the United States House of Representatives
A whip in the United States House of Representatives manages his party's legislative program on the House floor. The Whip keeps track of all legislation and ensures that all party members are present when important measures are to be voted upon....

 from 2002 to 2003, and was House Minority Leader
Minority leader of the United States House of Representatives
The House Minority Leader is one of the party leaders of the United States House of Representatives. This title is currently held by Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi of California....

 from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th
108th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eighth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005, during the third and fourth years of George W. Bush's...

 and 109th Congresses
109th United States Congress
The One Hundred Ninth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, from January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007, during the fifth and sixth years of George W. Bush's presidency. House members...

. Pelosi is the first woman, the first Californian and first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress. After the Democrats took control of the House in 2007 and increased their majority in 2009, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House for the 110th
110th United States Congress
The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, between January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush. It was composed of the Senate and the House of...

 and 111th sessions of Congress
111th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of...

.

On November 17, 2010, Pelosi was elected as the Democratic Leader by House Democrats and therefore the Minority Leader
Minority leader
In U.S. politics, the minority leader is the floor leader of the second largest caucus in a legislative body. Given the two-party nature of the U.S. system, the minority leader is almost inevitably either a Republican or a Democrat, with their counterpart being of the opposite party. The position...

 in the Republican-controlled House for the 112th Congress
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

.

Early life, education, and early career


Pelosi is Italian-American and was born Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro in Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, the youngest of six children of Annunciata M. "Nancy" (née Lombardi) and Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr.
Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr.
Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. was an American politician who was a U.S. Representative from Maryland's 3rd congressional district and subsequently the mayor of Baltimore, Maryland...

, who was a Democratic party U.S. Congressman from Maryland and a Mayor of Baltimore. Pelosi's brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III
Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III
Thomas D'Alesandro III was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971. He is the brother of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and son of former Baltimore Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr...

, also a Democrat, was mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971, when he declined to run for a second term.

Pelosi was involved with politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 from an early age. In her outgoing remarks as the 60th Speaker of the House, Pelosi noted that she had been present at John F. Kennedy's
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 inaugural address
Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy
U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivered his only inaugural address at 12:51 Friday, January 20, 1961, immediately after taking the presidential oath of office administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren.-Background:...

 as President in January 1961. She graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame
Institute of Notre Dame
The Institute of Notre Dame is a private Catholic all-girls high school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.-History:...

, a Catholic all-girls high school in Baltimore, and from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University
Trinity Washington University
Trinity Washington University, founded in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, is a Roman Catholic university located in Washington, D.C. across from Catholic University of America and the Dominican House of Studies...

) in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, in 1962 with a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

. Pelosi interned for Senator Daniel Brewster
Daniel Brewster
Daniel Baugh Brewster was a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing the State of Maryland from 1963 until 1969...

 (D-Maryland) alongside future House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Steny Hoyer
Steny Hamilton Hoyer is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1981. The district includes a large swath of rural and suburban territory southeast of Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

. She met Paul Frank Pelosi (b. April 15, 1940, in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

) while she was attending Trinity College. They married in a Catholic church on September 7, 1963. After the couple married, they moved to New York, and then to San Francisco in 1969, where Mr. Pelosi's brother, Ronald Pelosi
Ron Pelosi
Ronald Pelosi is an American businessman and public figure in San Francisco, California. He is the brother-in-law of House Minority Leader and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and is the uncle of California Lt...

, was a member of the City and County of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

After moving to San Francisco, Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics. She became a friend of one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton
Phillip Burton
Phillip Burton was a United States Representative from California. A Democrat, he was instrumental in creating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Burton was one of the first members of Congress to acknowledge the need for AIDS research and introduce an AIDS bill. He was the brother of...

.

In 1976, Pelosi was elected as a Democratic National Committee
Democratic National Committee
The Democratic National Committee is the principal organization governing the United States Democratic Party on a day to day basis. While it is responsible for overseeing the process of writing a platform every four years, the DNC's central focus is on campaign and political activity in support...

 member from California, a position she would hold until 1996. She was elected as party chair for Northern California on January 30, 1977, and for the California Democratic Party
California Democratic Party
The California Democratic Party is the state branch of the Democratic Party in the state of California, headquartered in Sacramento. It is chaired by veteran Democratic politician and former United States Representative John L. Burton, who succeeded Art Torres in April 2009. It is the majority...

, which she held from 1981 until 1983.

Pelosi was appointed Finance Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States Senate. It is the only organization solely dedicated to electing Democrats to the United States Senate. The DSCC's current chair is Sen. Patty Murray, who succeeded Sen. Robert Menendez following...

, the campaign arm of the U. S. Senate Democrats, in 1985. That same year, she ran to succeed Chuck Manatt as chair of the Democratic National Committee, but lost to then-DNC Treasurer Paul G. Kirk. Pelosi left her post as DSCC finance chair in 1986.

Elections


Phillip Burton died in 1983 and was succeeded by his wife, Sala
Sala Burton
Sala Burton was a United States Representative from California. She was born Sala Galante in Białystok, Poland. She attended public schools in San Francisco and University of San Francisco. She was the associate director of the California Public Affairs Institute from 1948 to 1950...

. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 and decided not to run for reelection in 1988. She picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons' contacts. Sala died on February 1, 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt
Harry Britt
Harry Britt is a political activist and former Supervisor for San Francisco, California. Britt was involved during the late 1960s in the civil rights movement when he was a Methodist minister in Chicago...

 on April 7, 1987, then easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2, 1987; Pelosi took office a week later.

Pelosi represents one of the safest Democratic districts in the country. Democrats have held the seat since 1949, and Republicans, who currently make up only 13 percent of registered voters in the district, have not made a serious bid for the seat since the early 1960s. Pelosi has kept this tradition going. She won the seat in her own right in 1988 and has been reelected 10 more times with no substantive opposition, winning by an average of 75 percent of the vote. She has not participated in candidates' debates since her 1987 race against Harriet Ross.

She has the distinction of contributing the most among members of Congress to other congressional campaigns because she is in a safe district and does not need the campaign funds.

Committee assignments


In the House, she served on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, and was the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee until her election as Minority Leader.

Pre-Speakership career


In 2001, Pelosi was elected the House Minority Whip, second-in-command to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt
Dick Gephardt
Richard Andrew "Dick" Gephardt is a lobbyist and former prominent American politician of the Democratic Party. Gephardt served as a U.S. Representative from Missouri from January 3, 1977, until January 3, 2005, serving as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995, and as Minority Leader from 1995 to...

 of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. She was the first woman in U.S. history to hold that post.

In 2002, after Gephardt resigned as minority leader to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, Pelosi was elected to replace him, becoming the first woman to lead a major party in the House.

Nomination


On November 16, 2006, Pelosi was unanimously chosen by her caucus as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, effectively making her Speaker-elect. While the Speaker is elected by the full House membership, in modern practice the election is a formality, since the Speaker always comes from the majority party.

Pelosi supported her longtime friend John Murtha
John Murtha
John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. was an American politician from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Murtha, a Democrat, represented Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1974 until his death in 2010....

 of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 for the position of House Majority Leader, the second-ranking post in the House Democratic caucus. His competitor was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer
Steny Hoyer
Steny Hamilton Hoyer is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1981. The district includes a large swath of rural and suburban territory southeast of Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, who had been Pelosi's second-in-command since 2003. Pelosi and Hoyer had a somewhat frosty relationship dating back to 2001, when they ran against each other for minority whip. However, Hoyer was elected as House Majority Leader over Murtha by a margin of 149-86 within the caucus.

On January 3, Pelosi defeated Republican John Boehner
John Boehner
John Andrew Boehner is the 61st and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the U.S. Representative from , serving since 1991...

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 with 233 votes compared to his 202 votes in the election for Speaker of the House. She was nominated by Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician and the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He was formerly White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, the incoming chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and sworn in by her longtime friend John Dingell
John Dingell
John David Dingell, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1955 . He is a member of the Democratic Party...

 of Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 as the Dean of the House of Representatives traditionally does.
With her election, Pelosi became the first woman, the first Californian, and the first Italian-American to hold the Speakership. She is also the second Speaker from a state west of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

. The first was Washington's Tom Foley
Tom Foley
Thomas Stephen Foley was the 57th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1989 to 1995. He represented Washington's 5th congressional district for 30 years as a Democratic member from 1965 to 1995....

, the last Democrat to hold the post before Pelosi.

During her speech, she discussed the historical importance of being the first female to hold the position of Speaker:

"This is a historic moment — for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today, we have broken the marble ceiling
Glass ceiling
In economics, the term glass ceiling refers to "the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements." Initially, the metaphor applied to barriers in the careers of women but...

. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them".


She also spoke on Iraq as the major issue facing the 110th Congress, while incorporating some Democratic Party beliefs:

"The election of 2006 was a call to change — not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in Iraq. The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end."

Tenure


As Speaker, Pelosi was still the leader of the House Democrats; the Speaker is reckoned as the leader of his or her House caucus. However, by tradition, she did not normally participate in debate (though she had the right to do so), and almost never voted on the floor. She was also not a member of any House committees.

Pelosi was re-elected Speaker in 2009.

A CBS News
CBS News
CBS News is the news division of American television and radio network CBS. The current chairman is Jeff Fager who is also the executive producer of 60 Minutes, while the current president of CBS News is David Rhodes. CBS News' flagship program is the CBS Evening News, hosted by the network's main...

 poll conducted in March 2010 found that 37% of registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of the speaker, with 11% approving. According to a March 2010 Rasmussen
Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Reports is an American media company that publishes and distributes information based on public opinion polling. Founded by pollster Scott Rasmussen in 2003, the company updates daily indexes including the President's job approval rating, and provides public opinion data, analysis, and...

 poll, 64% of voters nationally view the speaker unfavorably, and 29% have a favorable opinion of Pelosi.

Social Security Mandate
Shortly after winning re-election, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 claimed a mandate
Mandate (politics)
In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative.The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of democracy...

 for an ambitious second-term agenda and proposed reforming Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 by allowing workers to redirect a portion of their Social Security withholding into stock and bond investments. Pelosi strongly opposed the plan, saying there was no crisis, and as minority leader she imposed intense party discipline on her caucus, leading them to near-unanimous opposition to Bush's proposal, and subsequent defeat of the proposed plan.

Blocking of impeachment proceedings against President Bush
In the wake of President George W. Bush's reelection in 2004, several leading House Democrats believed that Democrats should pursue impeachment proceedings against the president
Movement to impeach George W. Bush
During the presidency of George W. Bush, several American politicians sought to either investigate Bush for allegedly impeachable offenses, or to bring actual impeachment charges on the floor of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee...

. They asserted that Bush had misled Congress about weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 in Iraq
Iraq and weapons of mass destruction
During the regime of Saddam Hussein, the nation of Iraq used, possessed, and made efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction . Hussein was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War...

, and had violated the civil liberties of Americans by authorizing wiretaps without a warrant
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

.

In May 2006, with an eye on the upcoming congressional elections – which offered the possibility of Democrats taking back control of the House for the first time since 1994 – Pelosi told colleagues that, while the Democrats would conduct vigorous oversight of Bush administration policy, an impeachment investigation was "off the table". (A week earlier, she had told the Washington Post that, although Democrats would not set out to impeach the president, "you never know where" investigations might lead.)

After becoming Speaker of the House in January 2007, Pelosi held firm against impeachment, notwithstanding strong support for that course of action among constituents in her home district. In the November 2008 election, Pelosi withstood a challenge for her seat by anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 activist Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President...

, who ran as an independent primarily because of Pelosi's refusal to pursue impeachment.

The "Hundred Hours"

Prior to the U.S. 2006 midterm elections, Pelosi announced a plan for action: If elected, she and the newly empowered Democratic caucus would push through most of its program during the first hundred hours of the 110th Congress' term.

The origin for the name "first hundred hours" is a play on words derived from former Democratic President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's promise for quick action on the part of government (to combat the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

) during his "first hundred days" in office. Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

, who became Speaker of the House in 1995, had a similar 100-day agenda to implement the Contract with America
Contract with America
The Contract with America was a document released by the United States Republican Party during the 1994 Congressional election campaign. Written by Larry Hunter, who was aided by Newt Gingrich, Robert Walker, Richard Armey, Bill Paxon, Tom DeLay, John Boehner and Jim Nussle, and in part using text...

.

Opposition to Iraq War troop surge of 2007

On January 5, 2007, reacting to suggestions from President Bush's confidantes that he would increase troop levels in Iraq (which he announced in a speech a few days later), Pelosi joined with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Harry Reid
Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada, serving since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S...

 to condemn the plan. They sent Bush a letter saying, "[T]here is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. ... Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror."

2008 Democratic National Convention

Pelosi was named Permanent Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention
2008 Democratic National Convention
The United States 2008 Democratic National Convention was a quadrennial presidential nominating convention of the Democratic Party where it adopted its national platform and officially nominated its candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. The convention was held in Denver,...

 in Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

.

Post-Speakership career


Though Pelosi was re-elected by a comfortable margin in the 2010 midterm elections
United States House of Representatives elections, 2010
The 2010 United States House of Representatives elections, also known as the 2010 midterm elections, were held on November 2, 2010, at the midpoint of President Barack Obama's first term in office. Voters of the 50 U.S. states chose 435 U.S. Representatives. Voters of the U.S...

, the Democrats lost 63 seats and ceded control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans. Despite the electoral setback suffered by her party, Pelosi sought to continue leading the House Democratic Caucus in the position of Minority Leader, the office she held prior to becoming Speaker. After Pelosi's disparate intra-party opposition failed to pass a motion to delay the leadership vote, Pelosi was elected Minority Leader for the 112th Congress.

Allegations of Insider Trading


In November 2011, 60 Minutes which alleged that Pelosi and several other member of Congress had used information they gleaned from closed sessions to make money on the stock market. The program cited Pelosi's purchases of Visa stock while a bill that would limit credit card fees was in the House. Pelosi denied the allegations and called the report "a right-wing smear."

Political positions


Pelosi was a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest caucus within the Democratic caucus in the United States Congress with 83 declared members, and works to advance progressive issues and positions....

, but left in 2003 after being elected Minority Leader. Her longtime friend Jim McDermott
Jim McDermott
James Adelbert "Jim" McDermott is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1989. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 7th District includes most of Seattle and Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien.He serves on the House Ways and Means...

 of Washington told Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

that he and other left-leaning Democratic congressmen sometimes wish that "she would tilt a little more our way from time to time". As Speaker, Pelosi has tried to focus more on economic than social issues.

In San Francisco, Pelosi has experienced conflicts with anti-war activists. Nonetheless, she has never faced a serious challenger in the Democratic primary or from the Green Party, which is competitive in local elections.

On September 2, 2008, she visited Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, for a G8
G8
The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

 summit meeting of lower house speakers and offered flowers in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
is a memorial park in the center of Hiroshima, Japan. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's direct and indirect victims ....

 for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

. While many world leaders have visited Hiroshima over the years, she is the highest-ever sitting U.S. official to pay her respects.

China



On March 21, 2008, Pelosi criticized the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 for its handling of the unrest in Tibet and called on "freedom-loving people" worldwide to denounce China. She was quoted as saying, "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world", while addressing a crowd of thousands of Tibetans in Dharamsala, India. She however did not call for a boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 that were held in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

.

On October 24, 2008, Pelosi commended the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 for its "bold decision" to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Chinese dissident and human rights activist Hu Jia
Hu Jia (activist)
Hu Jia is an activist and dissident in the People's Republic of China. His work has focused on the Chinese democracy movement, Chinese environmentalist movement, and HIV/AIDS in the People's Republic of China...

. Pelosi's statement read, "I call on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Hu Jia from prison and to respect the fundamental freedoms of all the people in China."

Colombia


Pelosi publicly scolded Colombian President Álvaro Uribe
Álvaro Uribe
Alvaro Uribe Vélez was the 58th President of Colombia, from 2002 to 2010. In August 2010 he was appointed Vice-chairman of the UN panel investigating the Gaza flotilla raid....

 during Uribe's May 2007 state trip to America. Pelosi met with Uribe and later released a statement that she and other members of Congress had "expressed growing concerns about the serious allegations" of links between Paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 groups and Colombian government officials. Pelosi also came out against the Colombian free trade agreement.

Cuba


Pelosi voted in favor of keeping the travel restrictions on American citizens to Cuba, until the President has certified that Cuba has released all political prisoner
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

s, and extradited all individuals sought by the U.S. on charges of air piracy, drug trafficking and murder.

Iran


In a February 15, 2007, interview, Pelosi noted that Bush consistently said he supports a diplomatic resolution to differences with Iran "and I take him at his word". At the same time, she said, "I do believe that Congress should assert itself, though, and make it very clear that there is no previous authority for the president, any president, to go into Iran". On January 12, 2007, Congressman Walter B. Jones
Walter B. Jones
Walter Beaman Jones, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district encompasses the Outer Banks and areas near the Pamlico Sound. Jones' father was Walter B. Jones, Sr., a Democratic Party congressman from the neighboring 1st district...

 of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 introduced a resolution requiring that — absent a national emergency created by an attack, or a demonstrably imminent attack, by Iran upon the United States or its armed forces — the President must consult with Congress and receive specific authorization prior to initiating any use of military force against Iran. This resolution was removed from a military spending bill for the war in Iraq by Pelosi on March 13, 2007.

Turkey


In mid-October 2007, after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution to label the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 as genocide, Pelosi pledged to bring the measure to a vote. The draft resolution prompted warnings from President Bush and fierce criticism from Turkey, with Turkey's prime minister saying that approval of the resolution would endanger U.S.-Turkey relations. After House support eroded, the measure's sponsors dropped their call for a vote, and in late October Pelosi agreed to set the matter aside.

Use of government aircraft


In March 2009, the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

 wrote that the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch is an organization that describes itself as "a conservative, non-partisan American educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law." According to its mission statement, Judicial Watch "advocates high standards of...

 obtained emails sent by Pelosi's staff which requested that the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 (USAF) provide specific aircraft — a Boeing 757
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

 — for Pelosi to use for taxpayer-funded travel. Pelosi responded that the policy was initiated by President Bush due to post-9/11 security concerns (Pelosi was third in line for presidential succession
United States presidential line of succession
The United States presidential line of succession defines who may become or act as President of the United States upon the incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office of a sitting president or a president-elect.- Current order :This is a list of the current presidential line of...

) and was initially provided for the previous Speaker, Dennis Hastert
Dennis Hastert
John Dennis "Denny" Hastert was the 59th Speaker of the House serving from 1999 to 2007. He represented as a Republican for twenty years, 1987 to 2007.He is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history...

. The Sergeant at Arms requested, for security reasons, that the plane provided be capable of non-stop flight, requiring a larger aircraft. The Pentagon said "no one has rendered judgment" that Pelosi's use of aircraft "is excessive."

Abortion


Pelosi voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls "partial-birth abortion", often referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction...

 of 2003 and earlier attempts at similar bans, and voted against the criminalization of certain situations where a minor is transported across state lines for an abortion (HR 748, passed).

She has voted in favor of lifting the ban on privately funded abortions at U.S. military facilities overseas (HA 209, rejected), in favor of an amendment that would repeal a provision that forbids service women and dependents from getting an abortion in overseas military hospitals (HA 722, rejected), in favor of stripping the prohibition of funding for organizations working overseas that uses its own funds to provide abortion services or engage in advocacy related to abortion services (HA 997, rejected). She also voted in favor of the 1998 Abortion Funding Amendment, which would have allowed the use of district funds to promote abortion-related activities, but would have prohibited the use of federal funds.

In February 2009, Pelosi met with her bishop, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, and with Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 as a result of comments made by Pelosi to Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors...

 on Meet the Press
Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...

 that many observers felt inaccurately portrayed Church teaching on the subject of abortion and the beginning of life.

Fiscal/monetary policy


Pelosi voted against the 1995 Balanced Budget Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Balanced Budget Amendment
A balanced-budget amendment is a constitutional rule requiring that the state cannot spend more than its income. It requires a balance between the projected receipts and expenditures of the government....

, which was passed by the House by a 300-132 vote, but in the Senate fell two votes short of the 2/3 supermajority required (with 65 out of 100 Senators voting in favor).

As Speaker of the House, she also spearheaded the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 is a US Act of Congress that amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. It was signed into law on May 25, 2007 as part of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina...

 as part of the 100-Hour Plan
100-Hour Plan
The 100-Hour Plan was a United States Democratic Party political strategy detailing the actions the party pursued upon assuming leadership of the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007. The strategy was announced before the 2006 midterm elections. Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged that her party would...

. The Act raises the minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 in the United States and the territories of the Northern Marianas Islands and American Samoa
American Samoa
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

. American Samoa was initially absent from the act, but as part of HR 2206 it was included. One Republican congressman who voted against the initial bill accused Pelosi of unethically benefiting Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is an American food production and distribution company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.6...

 (headquartered in her district) by the exclusion of the territory, where Del Monte's StarKist Tuna brand is a major employer. Pelosi co-sponsored legislation that omitted American Samoa from a raise in the minimum wage as early as 1999, prior to Del Monte's acquisition of StarKist Tuna in 2002. As of the 2002, 2004, and 2006 election cycles, Del Monte has not contributed to Democratic candidates.

Pelosi opposed the welfare reform
Welfare reform
Welfare reform refers to the process of reforming the framework of social security and welfare provisions, but what is considered reform is a matter of opinion. The term was used in the United States to support the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act...

 proposed by then-President Bush as well as reforms proposed and passed under President Clinton.

Civil liberties


The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

's Congressional Scorecard has given Pelosi a lifetime rating of 92% for her voting record on civil liberties. In 2001, she voted in favor of the USA Patriot Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

, but voted against reauthorization of certain provisions in 2005. She voted against a Constitutional amendment banning flag-burning
Flag Desecration Amendment
The Flag Desecration Amendment, often referred to as the flag burning amendment, is a controversial proposed constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow the United States Congress to statutorily prohibit expression of political views through the physical desecration...

 and against a Congressional resolution supporting the display of the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 in courtrooms.

Contraception


In a January 25, 2009, interview with George Stephanopoulos
George Stephanopoulos
George Robert Stephanopoulos is an American television journalist and a former political advisor.Stephanopoulos is most well known as the chief political correspondent for ABC News – the news division of the broadcast television network ABC – and a co-anchor of ABC News's morning news...

 for ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

, Pelosi said, "Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Education


Pelosi voted for the No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

, which instituted testing to track students' progress and authorized an increase in overall education spending.

Environment



Pelosi has supported the development of new technologies to reduce U.S. dependence upon foreign oil and remediate the adverse environmental effects of burning fossil fuels. Pelosi has widely supported conservation programs and energy research appropriations. She has also voted to remove an amendment that would allow for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in northeastern Alaska, United States. It consists of in the Alaska North Slope region. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the country, slightly larger than the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge...

.

Pelosi has blocked efforts to revive offshore oil drilling in protected areas, reasoning that offshore drilling
Offshore drilling
Offshore drilling refers to a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled through the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently produce hydrocarbons which lie in rock formations beneath the seabed...

 could lead to an increase in dependence on fossil fuels.

Health care


Speaker Pelosi was instrumental in the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 of 2010. Pelosi was a key figure in convincing President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 to continue pushing for health care reform after the election of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 Sen.
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Scott Brown is a United States senator.Scott Brown may also refer to:-Sportsmen:*Scott Brown , American college football coach of Kentucky State...

 in a January special election, a defeat that was seen as potentially fatal to Democratic reform efforts. After delivering 219 votes in the House for Obama's signature health care package, Pelosi was both praised and heckled as she made her way to Capitol Hill.

Pelosi has voted to increase Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

 and Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 benefits.

Iraq War


In 2002, Pelosi opposed the Iraq Resolution
Iraq Resolution
The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing military action against Iraq.-Contents:The resolution cited many factors to justify the use of military force against...

 authorizing President Bush to use military force against Iraq, while stating that Iraq, like "other countries of concern", had WMDs. In explaining her opposition to the resolution, Pelosi noted that Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 Director George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

 had told Congress that the likelihood of Iraq's Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 launching an attack on the U.S. using weapons of mass destruction was low. "This is about the Constitution", Pelosi said. "It is about this Congress asserting its right to declare war when we are fully aware what the challenges are to us. It is about respecting the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and a multilateral approach, which is safer for our troops." Despite Pelosi's opposition, Congress still passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States against Iraq.

Israel


Pelosi reaffirms that "America and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship". Pelosi emphasized that "a strong relationship between the United States and Israel has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. America's commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering,...[h]owever, the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe." Pelosi's voting record shows consistent support for Israel. Prior to 2006 elections in the Palestinian Authority, she voted for a Congressional initiative disapproving of participation in the elections by Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 and other organizations defined as terrorist by the legislation. She agrees with the current U.S. stance in support of land-for-peace. She has applauded Israeli "hopeful signs" of offering land, while criticizing Palestinian "threats" of not demonstrating peace in turn. She states, "If the Palestinians agree to coordinate with Israel on the evacuation, establish the rule of law, and demonstrate a capacity to govern, the world may be convinced that finally there is a real partner for peace".

During the 2006 Lebanon War, Pelosi voted in favor of Resolution 921 on the count that "the seizure of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah terrorists was an unprovoked attack and Israel has the right, and indeed the obligation, to respond". She argues that organizations and political bodies in the Mideast like Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 and Hezbollah "have a greater interest in maintaining a state of hostility with Israel than in improving the lives of the people they claim to represent". Pelosi asserts that civilians on both sides of the border "have been put at risk by the aggression of Hamas and Hezbollah" in part for their use of "civilians as shields by concealing weapons in civilian areas".

In September 2008, Pelosi hosted a reception in Washington with Israeli Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 speaker Dalia Itzik
Dalia Itzik
Dalia Itzik , born 20 October 1952, is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kadima. She has previously served in several ministerial positions, and on 4 May 2006 became the first female speaker of the Knesset, and has since served as President of Israel in an...

, along with 20 members of Congress, where they toasted the "strong friendship" between Israel and the United States. During the ceremony, Pelosi held up the replica dog tags of the three Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah and Hamas in 2006 and stated that she keeps them as a "symbol of the sacrifices made, sacrifices far too great by the people of the state of Israel".

LGBT rights


Pelosi received a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 for the 107th
107th United States Congress
The One Hundred Seventh United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2001 to January 3, 2003, during the final...

, 108th
108th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eighth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005, during the third and fourth years of George W. Bush's...

, and 109th
109th United States Congress
The One Hundred Ninth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, from January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007, during the fifth and sixth years of George W. Bush's presidency. House members...

 sessions of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, indicating that she voted in agreement with HRC's slate of pro-gay legislative issues. In 1996 she voted against the Defense of Marriage Act
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no U.S. state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state...

, and in 2004 and 2006, she voted against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment
Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman...

, which would amend the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 to define marriage federally as being between one man and one woman, thereby overriding states' individual rights to legalize gay marriage. When the Supreme Court of California
Supreme Court of California
The Supreme Court of California is the highest state court in California. It is headquartered in San Francisco and regularly holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.-Composition:...

 overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage
California Proposition 22 (2000)
Proposition 22 was a law enacted by California voters in March 2000 to restrict marriages to only those between opposite-sex couples. In May 2008 it was struck down by the California Supreme Court as contrary to the state constitution....

, Pelosi released a statement welcoming the "historic decision." She voiced her opposition to Proposition 8
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

, the successful ballot initiative
California state elections, November 2008
The California state elections, November 2008 were held on November 4, 2008 throughout California. Among the elections taking place were those for the office of President of the United States, all the seats of California's delegation to the House of Representatives, all of the seats of the State...

, which defined marriage in California as a union between one man and one woman.

Marijuana legalization


Pelosi supports reform in marijuana laws. She also supports use of medical marijuana.

Military draft



In regard to Representative Charles Rangel's (D-NY) plan to introduce legislation that would reinstate the draft, Pelosi stated that she did not support such legislation.

Syria


Pelosi supports the Syria Accountability Act and Iran Freedom and Support Act
Iran Freedom and Support Act
The Iran Freedom Support Act is an Act of Congress that appropriated $10 million and directed the President of the United States to spend that money in support of groups opposed to the Iranian government. Opponents claimed the bill was a first step towards a US-led invasion of the country.In...

. In a speech at the AIPAC
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States...

 2005 annual conference, Pelosi said that "for too long, leaders from both parties haven't done enough" to put pressure on Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 who are providing Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 with technological information on nuclear issues and missiles. "If evidence of participation by other nations in Iran's nuclear program is discovered, I will insist that the Administration use, rather than ignore, the evidence in determining how the U.S. deals with that nation or nations on other issues."

Waterboarding


Pelosi has stated that she opposes the interrogation technique of waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

.

According to the CIA, while Pelosi was the ranking member
Ranking member
In United States politics, a ranking member is the second-most senior member of a congressional or state legislative committee from the majority party. Another usage refers to the most senior member of a congressional or state legislative committee from the minority party. This second usage, often...

 of the House Intelligence Committee, she was told about enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation methods, often described as torture...

, including waterboarding authorized for a captured terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, in one hour-long briefing in 2002. After the briefing, Pelosi said she "was assured by lawyers with the CIA and the Department of Justice that the methods were legal." Two unnamed former Bush Administration officials say that the briefing was detailed and graphic, and at the time she didn't raise substantial objections. One unnamed U.S. official present during the early briefings said, "In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to September 11 and people were still in a panic. But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "

However, several top Democratic lawmakers in the House signed a letter on June 26, 2009, alleging that CIA Director
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency serves as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, which is part of the United States Intelligence Community. The Director reports to the Director of National Intelligence . The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director of the Central...

 Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 had asserted that the CIA misled Congress for a "number of years" spanning back to 2001, casting more clouds on the controversy. Neither letter, lawmakers or the CIA provided details and the murky circumstances surrounding the allegations make it hard to assess the claims and counterclaims of both sides.

Officials in Congress say her ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited her from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of her own staffs. In an April 2009 press conference, Pelosi stated, "In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel -- the Office of Legislative Counsel opinions that they could be used, but not that they would. And they further -- further, the point was that if and when they would be used, they would brief Congress at that time" Pelosi's office stated that she later protested the technique and that she concurred with objections raised by Democratic colleague Jane Harman
Jane Harman
Jane Margaret Lakes Harman is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party....

 in a letter to the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 in early 2003.

On President Bush


In mid-July 2008, two days after President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 stated that Congress was ineffective and said, "This is not a record to be proud of, and I think the American people deserve better", Pelosi responded by calling the president "a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the war, on the economy, on energy, you name the subject" and that Congress had been "sweeping up after his mess over and over and over again".

Electoral history



Pelosi's only close race so far has been the special election to succeed Sala Burton's seat after her death in February 1987. In the special election's Democratic primary, Pelosi narrowly defeated San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt
Harry Britt
Harry Britt is a political activist and former Supervisor for San Francisco, California. Britt was involved during the late 1960s in the civil rights movement when he was a Methodist minister in Chicago...

, considered the more "progressive" candidate, with 36 percent of the vote to his 32 percent. In the runoff against Republican candidate Harriet Ross, Pelosi received more than a 2-to-1 majority of votes cast in a turnout that comprised about 24% of eligible voters. Since then, Pelosi has enjoyed overwhelming support in her political career, collecting 76 and 77 percent of the vote in for the 1988 and 1990 Race for U.S. House of Representatives. In 1992, after the redistricting from the 1990 Census
United States Census, 1990
The Twenty-first United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 248,709,873, an increase of 9.8 percent over the 226,545,805 persons enumerated during the 1980 Census....

, Pelosi ran in , which now covered the San Francisco area. She has continued to post landslide victories since, dropping beneath 80 percent of the vote only twice.

Family


Her husband, since 1963, is Paul Pelosi
Paul Pelosi
Paul Pelosi is an American businessman and owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.Pelosi owns and operates Financial Leasing Services, Inc., a San Francisco, California-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm...

. They have five children: Nancy Corinne, Christine
Christine Pelosi
Christine Paule Pelosi is the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, and is an American Democratic Party political strategist from California; she is the author of Campaign Boot Camp , a guide to successful campaigning...

, Jacqueline, Paul
Paul Pelosi, Jr.
Paul Pelosi, Jr. is the son of Nancy Pelosi and a speaker on environmental policies that encourage individuals and local governments to take a more active role in conserving natural resources and reducing carbon footprints. Pelosi has spoken at conferences in Stockholm, Milan, and Amsterdam...

, and Alexandra
Alexandra Pelosi
Alexandra C. Pelosi is a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and writer based in New York City. She is the daughter of Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi...

, as well as eight grandchildren. Alexandra, a journalist, covered the Republican presidential campaigns in 2000 and made a film about the experience, Journeys with George
Journeys with George
Journeys with George is a documentary by Alexandra Pelosi and Aaron Lubarsky that follows George W. Bush for more than a year on his campaign trail to the presidency in 2000....

. In 2007, Christine published a book, Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders.

Pelosi lives in the Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California
Pacific Heights is a neighborhood of San Francisco, California.-Location:Pacific Heights is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in Northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz and the Presidio...

 neighborhood of San Francisco.

Financial status


Nancy Pelosi is among the richest members of Congress, with an estimated net worth of approximately $58 million, the 12th highest estimated net worth in Congress, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics and the effect of money and lobbying activity on elections and public policy and maintains a public online database of its information.Their database...



While members of Congress are not required to disclose their exact net worth, organizations such as the Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics and the effect of money and lobbying activity on elections and public policy and maintains a public online database of its information.Their database...

 prepare estimated ranges based on public disclosures. The CRP's midpoint estimate of the Pelosis' net worth is $58,436,537 as of 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available, with a possible range from $7 million to $124 million.

In addition to their large portfolio
Portfolio (finance)
Portfolio is a financial term denoting a collection of investments held by an investment company, hedge fund, financial institution or individual.-Definition:The term portfolio refers to any collection of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash...

 of jointly owned San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 real estate, the couple also owns a vineyard in St. Helena, California
St. Helena, California
St. Helena is a city in Napa County, California, United States. It is part of the northern San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 5,814 at the 2010 census....

, valued between $5 million and $25 million. Pelosi's husband also owns stock, including $1 million in Apple Inc., and is the owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.

Involvement in Italian-American community


Pelosi is a board member of the National Organization of Italian American Women
National Organization of Italian American Women
The National Organization of Italian American Women is an American sisterhood group founded in 1980 to represent Italian American women of varied professional and business backgrounds....

. Additionally, Pelosi served for 13 years as a board member of the National Italian American Foundation
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

 (NIAF). In 2007, she received the NIAF Special Achievement Award for Public Advocacy and continues to be involved in the Foundation today.

See also




Further reading

  • Dabbous, Y., Ladley, A. (2010), "A spine of steel and a heart of gold: Newspaper coverage of the first female speaker of the house", Journal of Gender Studies 19 (2), pp. 181–194

External links




Articles


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