U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat who became a centimillionaire through shrewd stock market trading during her career as a Democratic leader, announced Thursday that she will not seek a leadership role in the House Democratic caucus next Congress.
The decision brings to a close an era of American politics that saw Pelosi rule the House of Representatives with an iron fist, shepherding through major items of legislation and raising hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign spending.
She has been a Democratic congressional leader since 2002 when she became the House Minority Whip. As a Democratic leader, she did not vote for the Iraq war resolution and later rose to prominence as a fierce critic of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy.
She served as Speaker of the House under President Barack Obama from 2007 to 2011 and again under Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
During her time in Congress, Pelosi was privy to a great deal of sensitive information that most Americans don’t have access to. At the same time, her husband Paul Pelosi managed to execute some wildly profitable stock market trades, including on businesses affected by legislation and government action Pelosi would have known about.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Pelosi was worth just $31.38 million in 2008 but now has a net worth of more than $114.66 million — all on a salary of just $223,500 per year.
In addition to her and her husband’s prolific stock market trading, she will perhaps best be known for ushering in the trend of passing major, multi-1000-page bills without offering elected officials or the public enough time to read them.
Of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, Pelosi infamously said, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it away from the fog of controversy.”
Since Pelosi assumed a leadership position in Congress in 2002, the national debt has ballooned from $6 trillion to more than $32 trillion. She was pivotal in every major bill for two decades, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, Obamacare, the American Recovery Act, and President Joe Biden’s major spending initiatives.
Although she will no longer be in leadership, she will remain a Member of Congress for the next two years and hasn’t said whether she will seek re-election.