WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)’s announcement that she would step down from her role in the next Congress:
“Today, I join my colleagues across the Democratic Caucus and Americans across the country in giving our deepest thanks and appreciation to Speaker Pelosi for her decades of leadership as Speaker of the House and leader of our Democratic Caucus.
“At the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we are also proud that Speaker Pelosi was an early member of the CPC, before being elected Minority Leader in 2002. Under her leadership, House Democrats have achieved historic victories and advanced essential progressive reforms. Congress passed the largest health care expansion in U.S. history with the Affordable Care Act, and passed the largest bill to combat the climate crisis in U.S. history with the Inflation Reduction Act, which also took on Big Pharma’s price gouging of prescription drug prices for the first time. Congress responded to two economic crises with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the American Rescue Plan. It passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to outlaw gender-based pay discrimination, repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
“Few of Democrats’ historic accomplishments in the Pelosi era are more personal to me than those that advanced immigrant justice. She single-handedly secured the votes to pass the first Dream Act, and has helped ensure we pass the Dream and Promise Act in the 115th, 116th, and 117th Congresses. She has strongly advocated for the voices of those who are most often left out, including for racial justice with the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the No Ban Act and bills that took on anti-Asian hate. And as the first South Asian American woman elected to Congress, I was also honored to accompany the Speaker to India in my first term, and to work with her to advocate for Tibetan human rights, religious freedom, and democracy around the world. The Speaker was instrumental in passing my South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act this year, and in passing my resolution responding to the atrocities of forced medical procedures that often resulted in sterilization at the Irwin Detention Center in Georgia.
“As an immigrant woman of color, I know that my presence here — and the presence of so many other women and people of color in the Capitol — would not be possible without Speaker Pelosi’s example. She paved the way for all of us, and for a generation of girls to see themselves in the highest levels of leadership in this country. Her impact on this country is immeasurable — we can never thank her enough for all she has given to the Democratic Caucus and the country. I know my Progressive Caucus colleagues join me in wishing her all the best in this next chapter.”