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Post Politics Now: Pelosi, Hoyer open door to new generation of Democratic leaders

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/17/2022 John Wagner, Mariana Alfaro
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 17, 2022. (Photo by Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post) © Elizabeth Frantz/For The Washington Post WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 17, 2022. (Photo by Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post)

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that they would not seek leadership positions in the new Congress, opening the door for a younger generation of Democrats to guide the caucus. Both Pelosi, 82, and Hoyer, 83, said they would continue to represent their districts in Congress. The announcements come after Republicans were projected to win control of the House despite a stronger-than-expected showing by Democrats in the midterms.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is widely expected to become the next minority leader, marking another historic first. If elected by House Democrats, Jeffries, 52, would be the first Black person to lead a party in Congress. Pelosi is the party’s long-serving leader in the House and the first woman to hold the speakership.

6:34 PM: The latest: Pelosi says she has ‘survivor’s guilt’ after husband’s attack

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announces she will step away from leadership for the next congressional term. © Carolyn Kaster/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announces she will step away from leadership for the next congressional term.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday evening that she’s struggling with “survivor’s guilt” after her husband, Paul, was attacked in October by an assailant who broke into their San Francisco home in search of her.

“If he had fallen, slipped on the ice or was in an accident and hurt his head, it would be horrible,” Pelosi said in her most detailed comments to date on the attack’s aftermath. “But to have it be an assault on him because they were looking for me is really — they call it ‘survivor’s guilt’ or something. But the traumatic effect on him, this happened in our house. It made our home a crime scene.”

Pelosi told reporters that her husband “is doing okay” but that he’s facing a long recovery and noted that the trauma extends beyond herself and her husband — her children and grandchildren are dealing with it, too.

The speaker, who announced Thursday that she won’t seek a leadership position in the next Congress, also addressed the Republicans who mocked her and her family in the attack’s aftermath.

“If your spouse were in a situation where other people would make a joke of it, think it was funny, be collecting money for bail for the perpetrator, putting out a conspiracy theory about what it was about — it’s so horrible to think the Republican Party has come down to this, and no real rejection of it by anybody in the party,” she said. “It’s so sad for our country.”

She also thanked her GOP colleagues who stood by her, saying most of them “have been lovely to me.”

“So I feel very comforted by many of my Republican members here,” she said. “So I don’t paint everybody with the same brush.”

By: Mariana Alfaro and Paul Kane

6:14 PM: The latest: ‘The reasons for democratic backsliding are complicated,’ Obama says

Former president Barack Obama speaks at a democracy forum event held by the Obama Foundation at the Javits Center in New York on Thursday. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images Former president Barack Obama speaks at a democracy forum event held by the Obama Foundation at the Javits Center in New York on Thursday.

Former president Barack Obama, during remarks made at the democracy forum co-hosted by his foundation Thursday, offered ideas on how leaders could help solidify democracies around the world.

Obama said that “escalating polarization, disinformation” have contributed to the threats, as well as efforts to question the results of fairly run elections in Brazil, the Philippines, Italy, and “right here in the United States.”

Participants in democracy, Obama said, have to learn to coexist and cooperate with those with different views and backgrounds.

“It’s easier for people to agree on stuff when the majority of people look the same and worship the same way and share the same traditions. It’s harder as societies become more diverse and everybody is at the table,” Obama said. “Like it or not, diversity is not going away. The claims of the previously excluded are not going away.”

Leaders, he said, have “got to figure out how to find overlap in the sense of multiple identities, and we’re going to have to figure out how to live together, or we will destroy each other.”

“Rather than shy away from these cultural questions, we have to take them head on,” Obama said. “And we have to find a language, a story, of how we can affirm the best of traditional values in our respective countries, our respective communities, to create a space for our differences while insisting that our politics and our governmental institutions uphold the overarching principles of equality for all people.”

5:26 PM: Analysis: The remarkable increase in House diversity during Pelosi’s tenure

As Philip Bump writes, it’s not often that Americans tune into the one-minute speeches given by members of the House of Representatives from the floor of that chamber. Perhaps you’d listen if you’re one of those being honored by a legislator; the speeches focus heavily on the accomplishments or legacies of constituents. But otherwise, they are simply another formality that most Americans generally tune out.

It is also not often, though, that the sitting speaker of the House, a legislator who has served in that chamber for more than three decades, plans to respond to her party’s relegation to the minority. So it was that situation Thursday afternoon that captured the attention of the nation’s political observers. They turned to the House chamber to see what, exactly, the future held for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

In her announcement, Pelosi reflected on her tenure in Congress, drawing attention to one change that she both observed and contributed to since first being elected: the increased diversity of the chamber’s membership.

“When I came to the Congress in 1987, there were 12 Democratic women,” Pelosi said in her speech. “Now there are over 90 — and we want more.”

“The new members of our Democratic caucus will be about 75 percent women, people of color and LGBTQ,” she continued, adding that, as a party leader, she had worked to expand leadership opportunities for all of those legislators.

But that data point is fascinating. Let Philip explain:

Pelosi began service in the 100th Congress, meaning that she will have served in more than one out of every seven congresses in American history. Back then, though, the House was, in fact, far less diverse than it is now: fewer women, fewer people of color.
The Office of the House Historian publishes data on the diversity of the chamber over time. You can see, plotting each Congress since the country’s formation, how long it took for the composition of the House to include anyone besides White men. There was a small influx of Black legislators in the period after the Civil War, but it really wasn’t until the past few decades that the percentage of women and people of color really began to increase.

Read more on Pelosi’s impact here.

4:53 PM: Noted: Republican Rep. Burchett congratulates Pelosi on her announcement

Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett became one of the few House Republicans to publicly congratulate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after her announcement on Thursday.

While other House Republicans were quick to mock the outgoing speaker after she said she would not seek congressional leadership in the next term, Burchett shared a message on Twitter commending Pelosi for her decision and wishing her the best.

“Congratulations to Speaker Pelosi on her historic career,” Burchett said on Twitter. “Although we don’t agree on anything, she’s always been kind to me, and she’d often ask about my daughter Isabel when we’d meet on the House floor.”

Burchett said he has no doubt that Pelosi “will keep working hard to represent her constituents in San Francisco.”

4:52 PM: Noted: Obama praises Pelosi for ‘breaking barriers’ as House speaker

Former president Barack Obama honored House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic career Thursday after the longtime Democratic Party leader announced that she would not seek another term in leadership.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi will go down as one of most accomplished legislators in American history — breaking barriers, opening doors for others, and working every day to serve the American people,” the former president tweeted. “I couldn’t be more grateful for her friendship and leadership.”

The first Black person elected president included a photo of his arm around the first woman elected House speaker as a display of their close working relationship.

Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank financial restructuring bill and economic stimulus legislation while Pelosi (D-Calif.) was at the helm of the House in 2009 and 2010. The former president, who was a senator from Illinois before heading to the White House, praised Pelosi in 2018 when she cut a deal to sideline a potential challenger and won fresh confidence from her party’s most liberal critics in her leadership abilities.

Pelosi is “one of the most effective legislative leaders that this country’s ever seen,” he said at the time.

“Her skill, tenacity, toughness, vision, is remarkable,” Obama added. “Her stamina, her ability to see around corners, her ability to stand her ground and do hard things and to suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done I think stands up against any person that I’ve observed or worked directly with in Washington during my lifetime.”

By: Eugene Scott

3:18 PM: The latest: Who is Hakeem Jeffries?

House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) at the Capitol on Thursday. House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) at the Capitol on Thursday.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is poised to succeed a history-making woman and make history of his own.

As Azi Paybarah reports, by stepping down as the top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — the first woman to hold that position — is paving the way for Jeffries, the 52-year-old chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, to seek the job. If elected by House Democrats, Jeffries would become the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress.

Jeffries, a lawyer, is from central Brooklyn, the epicenter of New York’s Democratic power. He is a self-described progressive who has forged relationships with Democratic establishment figures in Washington while navigating the ascending left in his backyard.

Here are some things you should know about him, per Azi:

He was elected in 2013 and has been chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, a leadership post, since 2019. In that role, he has been the youngest member of leadership. …
Jeffries, a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, Georgetown and New York University Law School, was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2006, after unsuccessfully challenging a Democratic incumbent favored by the Brooklyn Democratic machine, Roger Green. After Jeffries lost an earlier challenge to Green, Democratic lawmakers promptly redrew the assembly district to exclude Jeffries’s home at the time.
The blatant move to stifle a young, striving political talent became the subject of a documentary in 2010 about gerrymandering. In that role, Jeffries was the reform-minded politician challenging the establishment.
Jeffries was elected to Congress in 2012 after longtime Rep. Ed Towns abruptly announced that he would not seek reelection ...
Once in Congress, Jeffries represented not only a mix of liberal and establishment politics, but youthful Brooklyn swagger. ...
In 2020, Jeffries served as an impeachment manager in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, a reflection of Pelosi’s trust in him.

If elected Democratic leader, Jeffries will find himself tangling with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the minority leader who is seeking the speakership in next year’s Republican-controlled House.

Read more on Jeffries here.

3:08 PM: Noted: ‘She did an amazing job,’ Schumer says of Pelosi

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after she delivered her speech announcing she would step down. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after she delivered her speech announcing she would step down. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), in a touching moment on the Senate floor, reminisced about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) career moments after she announced that she would be stepping down from congressional leadership.

Schumer, who was emotional Thursday as Pelosi delivered her news on the House floor, said he wanted to “just say thank you for the amazing things she has done for our country.”

“Few in American history have been as effective, as driven, as successful as Speaker Pelosi,” he said, calling her a trailblazer. “She’s transformed practically every corner of American politics, and unquestionably made America a better, stronger nation.”

The New York Democrat recalled meeting Pelosi in 1987, when Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) told him that one day she would be the first woman speaker.

“That was the first thing I heard about Nancy Pelosi, even before I met her, and the moment I met her I saw what he meant,” he said.

Schumer said that during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, he and Pelosi were sheltering together in a secure location and, while others panicked she was “cool, calm and collected.”

To Pelosi, Schumer said, “Thank you.”

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to work with you,” he concluded.

2:46 PM: Noted: Pelosi, Hoyer decisions mean first new Democratic leadership in 20 years

It’s been 20 years since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) were elected House minority leader and minority whip, respectively. With the two announcing that they will not seek House leadership positions in the next Congress, an era is over — and a new one begins.

House Democrats will now have brand-new leadership for the first time since 2002, when Pelosi and Hoyer became the party’s House leaders — just a year after Pelosi was elected minority whip. She replaced Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) as head of the caucus after he left the House to run for the White House. In so doing, Pelosi became the first woman to lead a party in Congress.

Several Democrats, during this last campaign, said it was time for the party to choose a new slate of leadership and open the way to the next generation. Hoyer, upon announcing that he will step down, quickly endorsed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a 52-year-old who, if elected, would become the first Black lawmaker to be a party leader in Congress.

2:37 PM: The latest: Kari Lake travels to Mar-a-Lago fresh off projected loss in Arizona

Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake speaks during the Republican Party election night event on Nov. 8 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post) © Joshua Lott/The Washington Post Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake speaks during the Republican Party election night event on Nov. 8 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

Republican Kari Lake, who was projected Monday to lose her race for governor of Arizona, traveled Thursday to former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, according to two people familiar with the activity.

As Isaac Stanley-Becker, Josh Dawsey and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez report, one of the people said Lake — who has not conceded her race — received a standing ovation when she entered a luncheon hosted by the America First Policy Institute, a think tank founded last year by Trump allies and former members of his administration. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private events.

The think tank is hosting a “Gala and Experience” at Trump’s club on Thursday and Friday. The agenda is to “ensure polices are prepared and finalized for new sessions of Congress and the state house.”

Lake’s pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago illustrates how she’s already taking steps to maintain her profile in the former president’s orbit.

Per our colleagues:

Her support could also prove consequential for Trump, who launched his 2024 campaign this week under criticism over his role in the party’s underwhelming performance in the midterms.
Lake, a former television news anchor, modeled her bid for governor on Trump’s campaigns and echoed his false assertions that he was cheated out of reelection in 2020. She speaks to the former president regularly, according to current and former campaign advisers. The former president called into her campaign’s “war room” on Sunday to express disbelief that Republicans were trailing in vote counts. ...
Now that she’s been defeated for state office, her political path is less clear. On Thursday, she told her supporters on social media that “we are still in this fight,” denouncing Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and more than half the state’s voters, for problems on Election Day that involved malfunctioning printers.

Read more on her trip to Florida here.

2:05 PM: Who has signed up to back Trump in 2024 — and who loudly hasn’t

Former president Donald Trump announces his bid for president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. © Thomas Simonetti/for The Washington Post Former president Donald Trump announces his bid for president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday.

Just over a week after the 2022 midterm elections — and with some contests still undecided — the 2024 Republican presidential primary has gotten underway.

The Post’s Philip Bump writes that credit for that development can be given to former president Donald Trump, whose enthusiasm about running (and certainly about muddying the political waters for any potential federal indictments) prompted him to announce his bid for the party’s 2024 nomination. Per Phillip:

If successful, he’d be the GOP nominee for three cycles running.
But the response to his announcement offered new hints that he might not be as successful as he hopes to be.
Yes, a number of elected officials and prominent individuals quickly lined up to support him, a show of strength fairly unusual for someone making an announcement so early and with no other official candidates in the race. A number of former allies and donors, though, took the opportunity to indicate that they were ready to move on to someone else.

You can read the full analysis here.

1:28 PM: This just in: Hoyer will not seek top job in House Democratic leadership

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) arrives for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) arrives for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) will not seek the top job in House Democratic leadership in the next Congress, saying that he will support the next generation.

In a letter to House Democrats, Hoyer said he believes it is time for him to continue his service “in a different role.” While he will remain in Congress and return to the Appropriations Committee as a member, he will not seek elected leadership.

Asked why he decided to step back, Hoyer told reporters: “You might not have heard, [but] I’m 83.”

“I think it’s always good for a party to have new blood and new invigoration, enthusiasm and new ideas,” he said.

Hoyer also quoted Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who earlier Thursday said there’s a “time and a season” for everything.

“I think it’s time and a season,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer, who has been in Congress for over 40 years, endorsed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as the next House Democratic leader, saying that is “a role in which he will make history for the institution of the House and for our country.”

“He is a skilled and capable leader who will help us win back the majority in 2024 as we strive to continue delivering on our promises to the American people,” Hoyer said. “I look forward to serving as a resource to him.”

Hoyer said he plans on continuing his focus on education, health care and American manufacturing, as well as on voting, civil and human rights.

1:27 PM: Take a look: Democrats embrace Pelosi as she steps down

Democratic lawmakers rushed to embrace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the moments after her speech on the floor of the chamber in which she announced leaving her leadership role. Watch the emotional moment:

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1:25 PM: The latest: Biden praises Pelosi as ‘the most consequential Speaker’ in history

President Biden speaks during a news conference Wednesday in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (Elizabeth Frantz/for The Washington Post) © Elizabeth Frantz/For The Washington Post President Biden speaks during a news conference Wednesday in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (Elizabeth Frantz/for The Washington Post)

President Biden on Thursday called Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the “most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history” in a statement issued shortly after she announced that she will not be seeking to lead the Democratic caucus in the next Congress.

“In everything she does, she reflects a dignity in her actions and a dignity she sees in the lives of the people of this nation,” Biden said. “In 2007, she made history as the first woman Speaker, but that was just the beginning of the history she has made during her four terms.”

In his statement, Biden recounted a long list of legislative successes that he has experienced with Pelosi during his tenures as a senator, vice president and now president.

Among the more recent he cited: a major coronavirus relief package, a bipartisan infrastructure law, a measure to bolster the domestic semiconductor industry, gun control legislation and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her,” Biden said. “That’s Nancy — always working for the dignity of all of the people.”

1:21 PM: The latest: Some House Republicans gloat about Pelosi’s departure

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is among those who tweeted their glee. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is among those who tweeted their glee.

In a preview of the tenor that Democrats can expect next year when Republicans take the House majority, several GOP lawmakers reacted with glee to the news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would end her historic run as the first woman to lead that chamber.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) wrote on Twitter: “The Pelosi era is over. Good riddance!”

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who last year voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results, wrote Thursday: “PELOSI OUT. Your vote mattered, and our country is much better off because of it!”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who also voted against certifying the 2020 results, thanked Pelosi on Thursday for “tendering your resignation” but added, “I believe the American people fired you first.”

Perhaps the kindest remarks from a Republican lawmaker came from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who said on the floor before Pelosi spoke, “Godspeed, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Wilson is best known for his comments in 2009, when he yelled at President Barack Obama during an address to Congress, “You lie!”

By: Azi Paybarah

1:08 PM: This just in: Jeffries to seek post as House Democratic leader

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) speaks in favor of voting rights legislation during a Congressional Black Caucus news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 12. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) speaks in favor of voting rights legislation during a Congressional Black Caucus news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 12. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the current chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is expected to run for House minority leader after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that she will not seek reelection to a leadership role, according to two people familiar with the decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations.

If elected by his party, Jeffries would be the first Black person to lead a party in Congress.

He will be joined by Reps. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), who will seek the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, respectively. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) will stay on as assistant leader, a position that used to be third in line, but will now be fourth in the leadership structure.

By: Marianna Sotomayor

12:58 PM: Analysis from Mariana Alfaro, Reporter on the breaking political news team

Lawmakers spent almost 20 minutes congratulating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after her big announcement.

House business took a while to resume as members crowded the floor to embrace Pelosi, creating a bit of traffic in the chamber.

12:56 PM: Noted: Emotional Democrats embrace Pelosi as she steps down from leadership

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As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stepped into a crowd of her colleagues, following her announcement that she would not seek Democratic House leadership during Congress’s next term, she was immediately embraced by her fellow Democrats in an emotional moment on the House floor.

Pelosi walked away from the lectern and into the arms of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) as other House members made a beeline to the speaker. Some wiped away tears while they embraced Pelosi, who, though visibly emotional, was smiling widely.

The speaker shook hands and patted shoulders. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) handed her his daughter, whom Pelosi picked up and swayed.

Also in the room was Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who along with Pelosi shepherded Democrats to a number of legislative victories over the past few years. Schumer was tearful throughout Pelosi’s address and, upon reaching her, gave her a long embrace. The New York Democrat was crying and seemed speechless. At one point, he cupped her face and kissed her hands.

Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.

12:56 PM: The latest: Biden congratulates Pelosi on her historic tenure

President Biden greets guests with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as he hosts the White House Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House on July 12 in Washington. © Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post President Biden greets guests with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as he hosts the White House Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House on July 12 in Washington.

President Biden spoke with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday morning and “congratulated her on her historic tenure as Speaker of the House,” the White House said in a statement issued shortly after Pelosi finished her remarks.

During her speech, Pelosi noted that in her role as speaker she had worked with Biden on forging “the future, from infrastructure to health care to climate action.”

12:41 PM: Noted: House leaders gather to hear Pelosi announce her future plans

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle — including some members-elect — milled about Thursday before entering the House floor minutes before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was scheduled to discuss her future.

Placards filled seats reserved for female lawmakers and members of the California delegation. And many members of Pelosi’s staff were present.

After lawmakers were told to rise to begin the session, Democrats and a few Republicans began applauding. And then House Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben shared a prayer.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who previously served in the House with Pelosi, came to the House floor to hear her remarks. Other Democratic leaders including House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) also were on the floor.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) attended the gathering, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal.) and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) were notably absent.

Republican lawmakers appeared skittish in their response to Pelosi’s speech. Some applauded, while others kept their hands in their laps. One sheepishly stood as part of a standing ovation in response to Pelosi’s comments about the Jan. 6 insurrection. But other GOP lawmakers remained in their seats. And the one who stood appeared to return to his seat quickly.

After Pelosi announced she would not seek reelection to House leadership, many members were moved to tears, as her words marked a changing of the guard.

By: Eugene Scott, Marianna Sotomayor and Leigh Ann Caldwell

12:41 PM: Analysis from Azi Paybarah, National reporter covering campaigns and breaking politics news.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted her historic trajectory, saying in her speech, “When I first came to the floor at 6 years old, never would I have thought that someday I would go from homemaker to House speaker.” She also said that when she entered leadership, “there were eight of us. Today, there are 17 members of the leadership.”

12:39 PM: This just in: Pelosi says she will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership

Lawmakers applaud as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the Capitol on Thursday. © Ting Shen/Bloomberg News Lawmakers applaud as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the Capitol on Thursday.

In a rousing and emotional speech Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress, though she would remain a congresswoman representing the San Francisco area.

“For me, the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” Pelosi said, fighting back tears throughout her remarks. At several points, her Democratic colleagues — and many Republicans — interrupted her with a standing ovation.

Pelosi recalled how, when she arrived in Congress in 1987, there were only 12 Democratic women. Now, there are more than 90 — “and we want more,” she said.

“When I first came to the floor at 6 years old, never would I have thought that someday I would go from homemaker to House speaker,” she added.

“I stand before you as speaker of the House, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a devout Catholic, a proud Democrat and a patriotic American, a citizen of the greatest republic in the history of the world,” Pelosi said, to sustained applause.

Pelosi called on lawmakers to protect American democracy, which she said was both majestic and fragile.

“Last week, the American people spoke, and their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law and of democracy itself,” she said. “With these elections, the people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy. They resoundingly rejected an insurrection, and in doing so gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

By: Amy B Wang

12:33 PM: The latest: Pelosi says the Capitol is ‘a temple of our democracy’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on her way to speak on the floor on Thursday. © Andrew Harnik/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on her way to speak on the floor on Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), ahead of revealing what her future steps are during a speech on the House floor Thursday, said the U.S. Capitol is “a temple to our democracy.”

“The Capitol is a temple of our democracy, of our Constitution, of our highest ideals,” Pelosi said during her speech.

The speaker, who was in the building the day a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has long sustained that the Capitol is the ultimate icon of American democracy.

Pelosi, whose party will not be in the majority in the House next term, said she will “never forget” the first time she saw the Capitol.

“It was on a cold January day when I was 6 years old,” Pelosi said. She was visiting because her father was about to be sworn in for his fifth term in Congress. “I was riding in the car with my brothers, and they were thrilled and jumping up and down and saying to me: ‘Nancy, Nancy, look, there’s the Capitol!’ ”

“And every time I’d say, ‘I don’t see any capital. Is it a capital A, a capital B, or a capital C?’ ” the speaker added, as the chamber laughed.

“Finally, I saw a stunning white building with a magnificent dome,” Pelosi said. “I believed then, as I believe today, this is the most beautiful building in the world because of what it represents.”

12:21 PM: Analysis from Leigh Ann Caldwell, Early 202 co-author and Washington Post Live anchor

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) brought his daughter to see Pelosi speak. She is sitting on his lap in the second row and is coloring.

12:21 PM: Analysis from Paul Kane, Senior congressional correspondent and columnist

Republican Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), speaking before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the lectern, said, “Godspeed, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Wilson is best known for yelling, “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a 2009 address to Congress.

11:58 AM: Analysis: The simple reason Republican senators voted against same-sex marriage

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attends a news conference after a weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attends a news conference after a weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post)

Same-sex marriage is one of the more remarkable examples of how politics can shift rapidly. A decade ago, views of allowing same-sex couples to wed were evenly split; nearly every state banned legal recognition for same-sex unions.

The Post’s Philip Bump writes that attitudes shifted quickly after that. Support for same-sex marriage grew, and in June 2015 the Supreme Court ordered that same-sex unions be granted the same protections as marriages between men and women. Per Philip:

Opposition largely collapsed. The issue had been settled.
And yet. On Wednesday, the Senate held a vote considering whether to advance federal legislation protecting same-sex marriage in the event that the Supreme Court — after having rescinded its decision in Roe v. Wade — decided to unwind its protections of those unions. And while 12 Republican senators joined the Democratic majority in advancing the bill, 37 Republicans opposed moving ahead on the measure.
Why? The ongoing political power of the conservative base — and that base’s ongoing, fervent opposition to the idea.

You can read the full analysis here.

11:44 AM: Take a look: New members of Congress arrive on the Hill for orientation

Newly elected members of the 118th Congress pose for a class photo on the east front steps of the Capitol on Tuesday. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Newly elected members of the 118th Congress pose for a class photo on the east front steps of the Capitol on Tuesday.

After months of campaigning and waiting for midterm election results, newly elected members of Congress arrived this week for orientation on Capitol Hill — even as some races remained uncalled.

Post photographers Jabin Botsford, Sarah Silbiger and Elizabeth Frantz captured members of the incoming freshman class as they greeted one another, were interviewed by the media and attended training sessions on legislative rules and other responsibilities.

You can view the entire collection here.

11:14 AM: The latest: Pelosi address expected shortly after noon Eastern time

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will deliver remarks to her colleagues shortly after opening the House at noon Eastern time on Thursday, her office said. Pelosi is expected to address whether she will seek another term as Democratic leader in a House that will be narrowly controlled next year by Republicans.

11:08 AM: On our radar: Senate expected to take final vote on same-sex marriage after Thanksgiving

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) walks through a hallway full of reporters after meeting with fellow senators at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. © Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) walks through a hallway full of reporters after meeting with fellow senators at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

The Senate is expected to take a final vote after Thanksgiving on a bill that would enshrine marriage equality into federal law, sending it to the House for consideration ahead of a promised signature by President Biden.

The Post’s Amy B Wang reports that on a 62-37 procedural vote, the Senate advanced the Respect for Marriage Act on Wednesday. Twelve Republicans joined all 50 members of the Democratic caucus to vote in support of the bill, surpassing the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that the chamber would take another procedural vote — on a motion to proceed — later in the day. That leaves little time for Democrats and Republicans to work out the timing for final passage before they leave town for more than a week.

“Both sides will have to work together to reach an agreement for voting on final passage as soon as we can,” Schumer said. “While some may want to delay this process, make no mistake, there’s nothing stopping this bill from final passage.”

Per Amy:

The Respect for Marriage Act would require that people be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.
The bill would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allowed states to decline to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

You can read Amy’s full story here.

10:58 AM: Analysis: No big shift for GOP on same-sex marriage, despite Roe’s impact on 2022

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Republicans suffered a disappointing 2022 election. And that was in no small part thanks to the Supreme Court overturning a personal right it had once granted — the right to an abortion — a decision that cast a spotlight on many Republicans’ unpopular views on the subject.

But the GOP has showed no signs of making a large-scale shift, The Post’s Aaron Blake writes. Per Aaron:

Republicans on Wednesday did provide enough votes to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, which would ensure federal and state recognition of legal same-sex marriages. Twelve GOP senators helped the bill clear the 60-vote threshold by two votes. That follows on the 47 House Republicans who voted for the measure this summer. Once the Senate officially passes the bill, its slightly different version will go back to the House before President Biden signs it.
That the GOP helped pass the bill could insulate the party from criticism that it stands in the way of a policy supported by 7 in 10 Americans. And it takes off the table some of the most troubling political possibilities were the court to also overturn the right to same-sex marriage, as Democrats have warned it might. (The bill is essentially intended to guard against that possibility; the court has already legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.)
But this bill was more modest than many people realize.

You can read the full analysis here.

10:21 AM: Noted: Kari Lake vows she is ‘still in this fight’ after loss to Katie Hobbs

Kari Lake speaks during the Republican Party election night event on Nov. 8, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz. © Joshua Lott/The Washington Post Kari Lake speaks during the Republican Party election night event on Nov. 8, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In a video posted to social media Thursday morning, Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake vowed she was “still in this fight” after losing her race to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Lake — an ardent supporter of former president Donald Trump who helped spread his baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud — also alleged without providing evidence that Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state, had disenfranchised voters.

“For two years I’ve been sounding the alarm about our broken election system here in Arizona, and this past week has confirmed everything we’ve been saying,” Lake said in the video. She claimed that “nearly half of all polling locations” in Maricopa County had problems; Maricopa County officials said about 30 percent experienced problems.

“I’m busy here collecting evidence and data,” Lake said, adding that she was exploring “every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week.”

Hobbs has defended herself for certifying the election, a ministerial job that she said was part of what voters had elected her to do as secretary of state. “My office doesn’t count any ballots,” Hobbs told The Washington Post earlier this week.

According to exit polls, 73 percent of Arizona voters were very confident or somewhat confident that elections in the state were being conducted fairly and accurately, while 27 percent were not very confident or not confident at all. More than 9 in 10 Hobbs supporters were confident in election fairness compared with just over half of those who voted for Lake.

Fewer than one-third of Lake supporters said they accepted the legitimacy of Biden’s election in 2020, compared with nearly all of Hobbs’s supporters.

By: Amy B Wang, Scott Clement and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

10:14 AM: The latest: Warnock ad features Trump’s shout-out for Walker

Former president Donald Trump announces his 2024 candidacy for the White House on Tuesday at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. © Thomas Simonetti/for The Washington Post Former president Donald Trump announces his 2024 candidacy for the White House on Tuesday at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.

Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) released a new campaign ad featuring Donald Trump declaring his support for Republican Herschel Walker in the runoff election for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat. The clip features the former president’s words from earlier this week at the launch of his reelection campaign.

“We must all work very hard for a gentleman and a great person named Herschel Walker, a fabulous human being who loves our country and who will be a great United States senator,” Trump said. “He was an incredible athlete. He’ll be an even better senator.”

Neither the pastor nor the former college football star received more than 50 percent of the vote in the midterm election, forcing a runoff on Dec. 6.

While Trump’s endorsement of Walker helped him secure the Republican nomination, Warnock’s team is hoping that aligning the political novice with the unpopular former president will bolster support for the lawmaker.

Some GOP leaders have criticized Trump for announcing his latest White House bid before the Georgia runoff, saying doing so could alienate potential voters and allow Democrats to extend their majority in the Senate.

The closing tagline of the ad is “Stop Donald Trump. Stop Herschel Walker.”

By: Eugene Scott

10:10 AM: The latest: Pelosi arrives at the Capitol, expected to share ‘future plans’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrived at the Capitol shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday on a day when her spokesman said she would share her “future plans.”

Pelosi did not attend an earlier morning meeting of Democratic caucus members, which marked a departure from her usual routine.

The House is scheduled to convene at 10 a.m., and Pelosi is expected to announce during a floor speech whether she will seek to stay in the Democratic leadership.

Speculation is swirling about whether Pelosi, who has led House Democrats since 2003, will follow through with a 2018 pledge to step back from leadership after another four years — a decision that has implications for a host of other Democrats with eyes on leadership positions in the Democratic caucus.

9:33 AM: Analysis from Marianna Sotomayor, Congressional reporter covering the House of Representatives

Everyone on Capitol Hill is talking about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and what she will do. As Democrats gathered for a closed-door caucus meeting, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) was overheard telling colleagues about the hypothetical “she could resign today.” Other members walked in and told reporters, “Nothing to see here!”

8:43 AM: Analysis: GOP control of the House means covid investigations

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks with reporters as he walks to a closed-door Republican meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks with reporters as he walks to a closed-door Republican meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Republicans will control the House next year, granting the party sweeping power to investigate President Biden’s pandemic response and stymie his legislative agenda.

Writing in The Health 202, The Post’s Rachel Roubein relays that the GOP recaptured the House majority Wednesday night, eight days after Election Day. The victory, though narrow, ends full Democratic control of Congress and grants the party deeply skeptical of the nation’s scientists the power to issue subpoenas. Per Rachel:

The Republican win also dealt a final blow to Democratic leaders’ ambitions of taking another crack at an economic package that could have included major health policies, such as expanding Medicare coverage.
On Capitol Hill, there are two words to describe the next few years: Partisan gridlock. Control of Congress will now be split ahead of a high-stakes presidential contest in 2024, which could make party leaders all the more reluctant to compromise on wide-ranging bipartisan legislation.
Even among Republicans, finding consensus may prove difficult. Some House races haven’t yet been called, but the broad outcome of the midterms is a slim House majority where party leaders will need to wrangle their ideologically fractious caucus.

You can read the full analysis here.

8:21 AM: Noted: Biden makes a pair of late-night congratulatory calls to Democrats

President Biden departs Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington early Thursday. © Bonnie Cash/Pool/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock President Biden departs Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington early Thursday.

Hours after Republicans were projected to win the House on Wednesday, President Biden made a couple of late-night calls to Democrats to offer congratulations on their races, the White House said Thursday.

Shortly before landing on Air Force One as he returned from overseas, Biden called Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) at 11:43 p.m. Eastern time, the White House said.

Porter, who is seeking a third term, has been locked in a tight race with Republican Scott Baugh, a former state lawmaker. While some media organizations have called the race for Porter, The Washington Post has yet to do so.

Biden also called Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), at 11:54 p.m. Eastern time, the White House said.

Karen Bass was projected Wednesday to be the winner of the mayor’s race in Los Angeles.

She prevailed over billionaire real estate developer and fellow Democrat Rick Caruso to become the first woman elected to lead the city and just its second Black mayor.

8:06 AM: On our radar: Senate, House control is split. Can a divided government make progress?

The exterior of the U.S. Capitol is seen on Nov. 14 during the second day of orientation for new House members. © Sarah Silbiger/For The Washington Post The exterior of the U.S. Capitol is seen on Nov. 14 during the second day of orientation for new House members.

Some voters chose last week to divide America’s government — giving Republicans control of at least one house of Congress as a Democrat continues in the White House — specifically to gum up the works and slam the brakes on the party in power. Some voted to express their frustration over soaring prices and their sense that the country is moving in the wrong direction. And some sought to split control of Washington to encourage, even force, the two parties to do business with each other.

The Post’s Marc Fisher writes that although this month’s midterm elections remain unresolved in several key states and Democrats retained a narrow majority in the Senate, President Biden’s two years of all-Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches of government is coming to an end. Per Marc:

There was no red wave, and voters in aggregate seemed more exhausted than energized by both parties’ extreme fringes. Still, Republicans will have a small majority in the House come January, when the new Congress is sworn in, allowing them to obstruct many Biden initiatives and forcing the two parties to work together, at least minimally, if they intend to keep the government operating.

You can read Marc’s full story here.

7:46 AM: On our radar: Pelosi decision will impact others with leadership ambitions

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) walks into the House Chamber on Capitol Hill on Sept. 22. (Shuran Huang/The Washington Post) © Shuran Huang/For The Washington Post Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) walks into the House Chamber on Capitol Hill on Sept. 22. (Shuran Huang/The Washington Post)

The decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on whether to pursue another term as Democratic leader has major implications for others in the Democratic caucus with leadership ambitions, particularly some younger members who have been eyeing the top three spots currently held by octogenarians.

Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) have been making moves for years, but especially in the past few months, to run to succeed Pelosi, 82, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), 83, and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), 82.

It’s unclear what Hoyer and Clyburn will do if Pelosi steps down as leader.

Writing in The Early 202, our colleagues Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer note that Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar hosted a party Wednesday night for the incoming freshman class of Democratic lawmakers.

The House is scheduled to leave town later Thursday, and House Democratic leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 30, shortly after members return to Washington.

7:14 AM: Analysis: Trump can’t even get a win in GOP leadership races

Former president Donald Trump announces he wants to run again for the presidency Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. © Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post Former president Donald Trump announces he wants to run again for the presidency Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Donald Trump was not on the ballot this week for Republican leadership races in Congress, but in several key spots the proxy candidates espousing his approach to politics dealt the ex-president another losing hand.

The Post’s Paul Kane writes that on Wednesday morning, Trump finally got what he has been clamoring for over several years: a challenger to try to take out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whom Trump derisively calls the “old crow.” Per Paul:

Instead, McConnell flew off to his ninth straight election to lead the Senate Republican Conference in a landslide, with 37 votes in his corner to just 10 for Trump’s stand-in, Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.).
Scott began his tenure chairing the National Republican Senatorial Committee early last year by making up an award to present to the ex-president at his Palm Beach resort, continued into this year by not intervening in GOP primaries to block Trump-like candidates and ended with Democrats retaining the majority by defeating those mini-Trump candidates.
Across the Capitol, the Trump factor played out most clearly in the House GOP battle to become majority whip, the third-ranking post in the majority.

The candidate most closely tied to Trump lost there, too. You can read the full analysis here.

6:45 AM: Analysis: All eyes on Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) presides on the House floor as Democrats pass the expansive Build Back Better Act on Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, 2021. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) presides on the House floor as Democrats pass the expansive Build Back Better Act on Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, 2021.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to give a speech about her future Thursday morning on the House floor, which opens at 10 a.m., according to a senior leadership aide who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss leadership maneuverings.

Writing in The Early 202, The Post’s Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer report that Pelosi, apparently still uncertain on what to do, took two versions of her floor speech home with her Wednesday night — one in which she steps back from her leadership role and one in which she runs again, according to a person familiar with her plans. Per our colleagues:

Pelosi, 82, has led House Democrats since 2003 and is a historic figure, having served as the first female speaker. Her decision will have major implications for the party, with younger lawmakers champing at the bit to assume top leadership positions and usher in a generational change.
The anxiety over the future of House Democratic leadership has risen with each day this week, which has been packed with events for the more than 30 incoming freshman Democrats. ...
But the giddiness over Democrats’ overperformance in the midterms is fading from discussions, overtaken by chatter about what Pelosi will do next.

You can read the full analysis here.

6:18 AM: On our radar: ‘Stay tuned’ for Pelosi to announce ‘future plans’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). © Shuran Huang for The Washington Post House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will speak about her “future plans” on Thursday, her spokesman said in a tweet late Wednesday after Republicans were projected to win back control of the House with a narrow majority.

Speculation has been swirling about whether Pelosi, who has led House Democrats since 2003, will follow through with a 2018 pledge to step back from leadership after another four years — a decision that has implications for a host of other Democrats with eyes on leadership positions in the Democratic caucus.

@SpeakerPelosi has been overwhelmed by calls from colleagues, friends and supporters,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in the tweet. “This evening, the Speaker monitored returns in the three remaining critical states. The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned.”

Pelosi essentially has three options: pursue another term as the Democratic leader, retire from Congress or stick around in some other capacity. In interviews on weekend talk shows, she seemed to hint that the latter is a possibility.

“There are all kinds of ways to exert influence,” Pelosi said on CNN. “Speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence.”

Her decision comes weeks after her husband, Paul Pelosi, was violently attacked in their San Francisco home by an intruder who said he was searching for the speaker.

6:04 AM: The latest: Trump’s early 2024 launch fails to rally GOP around him

Former president Donald Trump announces his bid for president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. © Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post Former president Donald Trump announces his bid for president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday.

Former president Donald Trump has told associates and advisers that he wants his third White House bid to resemble the first, limiting himself to a small, improvisational operation and positioning himself as an upstart outsider.

But his official campaign announcement on Tuesday echoed his original 2015 launch in other ways that are less to his favor — lacking the advantages of incumbency and a unified party at his back.

The Post’s Michael Scherer, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf write that Republican leaders in Washington and around the country are openly blaming Trump for leading the party to its third consecutive electoral letdown. Per our colleagues:

A conservative press that cheered his presidency reprised the hostile tone many right-leaning outlets took when he first appeared on the political scene in 2015. And an emboldened array of potential 2024 competitors for the nomination have stepped forward to suggest an alternative future for the party, even if they are not formally joining Trump in the race yet.

You can read the full story here.

6:03 AM: On our radar: With GOP House win, Biden’s foreign policy faces new challenges

President Biden delivers his State of the Union address on March 1. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post President Biden delivers his State of the Union address on March 1.

President Biden will confront new challenges in advancing his global agenda following the midterm elections, as Republican gains are expected to deepen congressional skepticism about U.S. support for Ukraine, renew scrutiny of America’s posture abroad and initiate polarizing probes into his handling of Afghanistan and immigration.

The Post’s Missy Ryan and Yasmeen Abutaleb write that while Democrats have retained their majority in the Senate, Republican control of the House has the potential to constrain Biden’s ability to achieve key foreign policy goals, including his intent to continue providing high levels of aid for Ukraine in the war against Russia. Per our colleagues:

An incident this week in Poland foreshadowed the debates to come, with a segment of the GOP demanding an end to U.S. support after two people died in an explosion that Western officials think was caused, unintentionally, by the Ukrainians. Analysts said those pressures will be tempered, both by Republican divisions on that topic and the president’s broad authority in foreign affairs.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said substantial bipartisan agreement on some issues, including a desire to take a hawkish stance on China, would blunt the impact on Biden of Republicans’ ascendancy in the elections.

You can read the full story here.

6:00 AM: Noted: Once a ‘Young Gun,’ McCarthy weathered threats from right on potential path to speaker

Washington, DC - November 15 : House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of Calif., talks with reporters as he walks to a closed-door Republican leadership meeting for a vote on top House Republican leadership positions, on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Washington, DC - November 15 : House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of Calif., talks with reporters as he walks to a closed-door Republican leadership meeting for a vote on top House Republican leadership positions, on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Kevin McCarthy’s rise to power began in the wake of President Barack Obama’s election, when he became the chief strategist among a trio of self-described Republican “Young Guns” in the House who vowed to retake Washington as “common-sense conservatives.”

The Post’s Michael Kranish reports that a dozen years later, after leading a tighter-than-expected midterm push to reclaim the House, McCarthy awaits an even loftier prize: speaker of the House. Per Michael:

This time around, after watching the two other Young Guns depart following a withering political assault from the party’s right wing, McCarthy is a survivor and victor in part because of how much he has transformed himself to appeal to the party’s most conservative elements.
McCarthy, 57, ended up on the path to claim the position he has long sought only after pledging fealty to former president Donald Trump and his party’s right-wing base. After winning a contentious internal party vote for the GOP nomination for speaker on Tuesday, he’ll have to work again to appease that right flank in order to win a full House vote in January.

You can read Michael’s full story here.

5:59 AM: On our radar: As next Arizona governor, Katie Hobbs vows to defend election rules

Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D) takes the stage to declare victory at Luna Culture Lab in Phoenix on Tuesday. © Rebecca Noble for The Washington Post Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D) takes the stage to declare victory at Luna Culture Lab in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Arizona’s incoming governor, Katie Hobbs, said Wednesday that she will not seek to overhaul voting systems in this crucial battleground state ahead of the 2024 presidential cycle, vowing instead to defend election rules that have come under criticism from an emboldened right flank of the Republican Party.

But she does think the system could improve so that votes in tight contests like hers are more quickly counted, The Post’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Isaac Stanley-Becker report. Per our colleagues:

Hobbs, a Democrat who currently oversees Arizona elections as secretary of state, suggested revising time-consuming signature verification requirements for early ballots dropped off on Election Day.
While some Republican lawmakers have called for eliminating or scaling back early voting, Hobbs envisions expanding it — perhaps even mailing ballots to all registered voters, as now happens in a growing number of states.

You can read the full story here.

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