Nancy Pelosi (born 1940) is a career politician with the Democratic Party. She is currently the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives and the first woman to hold the office. In her tenure, she has influenced the lives of all Americans by tenaciously driving a liberal agenda.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 most interesting facts about Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi Facts
1. Pelosi is a lifelong politician.
It’s a common misconception that Nancy Pelosi nee D’Alesandro entered politics late in life. She was born into a very politically active Italian-American family. Her father was a prominent Baltimore Democrat, and both he and Nancy’s brother have been mayors of Baltimore. She married Paul Pelosi in 1963, and the couple moved to San Francisco. They had five children within six years. Nancy played an active volunteer fund-raising role for the local Democratic Party. An interesting fact about Nancy Pelosi is that she worked her way up through the party ranks, eventually becoming the Chair of the Democratic Party of California in 1981.
2. She has represented California in the House of Representatives since 1987.
In 1987, her terminally ill friend Sala Burton, one of the then Californian Representatives at the House, urged her to stand for the office. The area is a safe seat for the Democrats – she won and has represented San Francisco, California, in Congress ever since. One of her early achievements for the area was to win increased government funding for HIV research, which is a cause that was particularly relevant at the time, given San Francisco’s large gay community.
3. Nancy Pelosi was the first female Congressional leader of a significant party.
Pelosi was the first woman to become Minority Whip when she took the position in 2001, and three years later, the first woman to become Minority Leader, an interesting Nancy Pelosi fact. She made it her mission to unify the conservative and liberal elements of the Party and was successful. All the while, she continued to pursue a progressive agenda of gun-control, pro-abortion, and anti-war (against Iraq.)
4. As Speaker, she is the most powerful woman in American politics to date.
She was elected in 2007 to Speaker of the House, and again for a third term in 2019 when the Democrats regained control of the House. Pelosi is not only the first female speaker – the post positions her second in line from the President, separated only by the Vice President. It makes her the most powerful woman in American politics to date. She is also the only Speaker in more than 60 years to be re-elected after a break in service.
5. The Affordable Care Act would not have been passed if not for Pelosi.
The Affordable Care Act that gives all Americans access to quality, affordable health care was signed in by President Obama in 2010. But for the year leading up to that, even the Democrats thought the Act was dead in the water. Based on feedback that the bill wouldn’t get the necessary votes to pass through Congress, President Obama was considering a piecemeal, incremental approach focused on better care for children. But Pelosi was determined to get some version of the whole Act through and work on making amendments to it in the future. Her tenacity in getting to a compromise that secured enough votes prompted Obama to venture that she was possibly the best Speaker in history.
6. The Speaker supports LGBT rights.
An interesting Nancy Pelosi fact is that she received a lifetime pro-LGBT Achievement award in 2013 and is attributed as doing more for the community than anyone else in Washington. She voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. She supported the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act, which prevented LGBT candidates from serving openly in the military. And she supported the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. She is often seen at LGBT events and once even put in a guest appearance on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
7. Pelosi called Donald Trump’s bluff on the 2019 shutdown.
The U.S. Government shutdown of December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019, was the longest in history. At issue was the funding of Trump’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The President was demanding $5.7 billion of federal funding and threatened to maintain the shutdown until he got it. The Speaker refused to budge and forced Trump’s hand by disallowing the State of the Union speech to proceed in the House while the government was closed due to security. The President agreed to forego the funding and end the shutdown.
8. The Speaker launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
In the opinions of many Democrats, some of the findings of an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, represented grounds for impeachment of President Trump. Pelosi experienced increased pressure to start proceedings in March 2019. In September, when accusations that Trump had orchestrated a Ukrainian inquiry into his rival Joe Biden surfaced, Pelosi opened an inquiry in the House. By December, the House had voted to impeach Trump. But in February 2020, the Senate acquitted him.
9. She chose not to impeach George W. Bush.
Despite pressure from her members, the Speaker chose not to institute impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush for knowingly lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Pelosi felt that after the “shameful, irresponsible and wrong” attempted impeachment of President Bill Clinton, it was not what the American people needed. Ironically, Donald Trump complimented Pelosi as a Speaker but urged her to impeach Bush, an interesting Nancy Pelosi fact.
10. Alexandra Pelosi is a renown documentary film director.
Alexandra Pelosi, the youngest daughter of Nancy and Paul Pelosi, is the director of HBO’s film called Outside The Bubble. It is her 12th HBO documentary and features interviews with Trump supporters across the country.
Nancy Pelosi is a political force to be reckoned with. I hope that this article about Nancy Pelosi facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!