Nancy Pelosi — The Greatest Speaker Of All Time
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the most consequential female political leader in U.S. history. Since 2003, Pelosi has won many victories for the Democratic Party and progressive causes. Pelosi has been demonized by the radical right for years because she has been a very effective advocate for progressive causes. If she wasn’t good at what she does, the GOP would have simply ignored her.
Pelosi’s first big challenge as Democratic House leader was when George W. Bush introduced a plan to privatize Social Security and turn it over to Wall Street in 2005. At that time, the (phony) conventional wisdom from the “liberal” mainstream media was that Social Security was going broke and the Democrats had to work with the Republicans in cutting benefits.
Pelosi was under tremendous pressure to come up with her own plan. In response to this pressure, Pelosi was asked when she would come up with a Democratic plan. She defiantly responded: “Never. Is never good enough for you?” Pelosi’s courage in standing up to Bush, Wall Street and the press was a key factor to the demise of Bush’s plan.
The defeat of the GOP’s Social Security privatization scheme marked a turning point in Bush’s presidency. Due to the Democratic victory on this critical issue, Bush’s approval ratings dropped below 50% for the first time during his presidency and he never recovered. The Democrats rode that momentum to win a huge victory in the 2006 mid-term elections in which they regained control of the House and the Senate.
Pelosi and the Democrats governed effectively during the time of divided government in 2007–08. (They didn’t shutdown the government or threaten to default on the debt.) The last federal minimum wage increase passed with bi-partisan support and Bush’s signature in 2007. After the economy collapsed in 2008, Pelosi worked with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to save the banking system from a meltdown by helping pass the controversial TARP bill. (A major factor that turned a recession into the Great Depression was when Hoover allowed the banking system to disintegrate beginning in 1930).
After the big Democratic victory in 2008, Pelosi helped engineer the greatest Democratic legislative victories since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in 1965–66. When the Democrats had the majority in both Houses in 2009–10, Pelosi supplied the necessary Democratic votes to pass the 2009 Recovery Act, an Affordable Care Act with a public option, cap and trade legislation and Wall Street reform. (The public option had to be dropped from the Affordable Care Act when Scott Brown won the special 2010 Massachusetts Senate election due to Democratic voter apathy.)
The years following the 2010 mid-terms were fallow ones for the House Democrats. However, Pelosi led the Democrats out of the wilderness again in 2018. In the 2017–2018 cycle, Pelosi recruited a diverse set of candidates that consisted of both progressives and moderates. Those Democrats went on to win 40 seats in the House. It was the best showing in the mid-terms for the Democrats since 1974.
That 2018 triumph laid the foundation for Pelosi’s most significant accomplishments as Speaker in 2021–2022. While presiding over a narrow Democratic majority, Pelosi helped President Joe Biden pass the most ambitious and far reaching legislative agenda since Lyndon Johnson.
Thanks to her leadership, the House passed the American Rescue Act, a bi-partisan infrastructure bill, the first gun reform bill since 1994, a veteran’s health bill, landmark climate change legislation and prescription drug pricing reform.
The highlights of Biden and Pelosi’s accomplishments are as follows:
Lowest poverty, uninsured rates in US history.
New business starts at record levels .
American manufacturers have now added enough jobs to regain all that they that they lost during the pandemic. Manufacturers have a net gain of 67,000 workers above pre-pandemic levels.
In 2021, the U.S. economy added over 6.5 million jobs, the greatest year of job growth in history.
The unemployment rate has nearly been cut in half.
Jobless claims are at their lowest point since 1970.
Under Democratic leadership, the US has added 10 million jobs — the highest number of jobs added in any president’s first 18 months. Not only is the unemployment rate at a historic low of 3.7 percent, but more Americans are now employed in the private sector than at anytime.
Deficit reduced by a record $1.5 trillion.
Because of the infrastructure package, repairs have started on over 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges.
The American Rescue Plan led to a record 14.5 million Americans signing up for healthcare coverage for this year through the Affordable Care Act.
Child poverty has been cut in half since President Biden took office. While Donald Trump was in office, child poverty was at 9.7%. Since President Biden took office, child poverty has been reduced to 5.2%.
President Biden and the Democrats in Congress have capped insulin costs at $35 a month for Medicare recipients.
The Inflation Reduction Act will now save 13 million Americans an average of $800 annually on health insurance premiums.
At the end of the day, Nancy Pelosi will be seen as towering figure in American history. She will go down in history as the greatest Speaker of the House in U.S. history, topping Henry Clay and Sam Rayburn. The United States is a much better and stronger nation thanks to Pelosi’s skillful leadership.