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Profile of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader

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Profile of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader

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United States House of Representatives:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco was first elected to the House of Representatives in a 1987 special election. In 2010, Rep Pelosi was reelected to her 12th two-year term.

In January 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female Speaker of the House, and thus, become the most politically powerful woman in U.S. history. Pelosi has been the top House Democratic leader since January 2003 when she bested Rep. Steny Hoyer for House Minority Leader.

Pelosi has a reputation of standing gracefully firm for liberal causes. Pelosi is admired as an unabashed progressive, legendary fundraiser, and courageous spokeswoman.

Notability:

Rep. Pelosi made history in 2002 when she became the first woman elected House Democratic Leader. And in January 2007, she rose to become the first woman Speaker of the House... and second in line for the US presidency, after the Vice President.

See Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Controversial Bailout Speech.

Pelosi is a Congressional fundraising legend, having raised almost $100 million for Democratic candidates since becoming House Democratic leader in 2002.

Major Areas of Interest:

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi holds humanitarian stances in many areas, including embryonic stem cell research, pro-choice views, minimum wage, Social Security, gay rights and public health policies.

In 2002, Nancy Pelosi voted against the Iraq War, and remains a vocal critic of the US occupation of Iraq. In late 2005, Pelosi announced her support of Rep. John Murtha's controversial plan for US troops to immediately withdraw from Iraq.

She won her first election running as an environmentalist and champion of AIDS prevention.

House of Representatives Committees in the 109th Congress:

  • Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (ranking Democrat)
  • Committee on Appropriations
  • Banking & Financial Services Committee
  • Committee on Standards of Office Conduct (Ethics)
  • Congressional Working Group on China
  • Executive Committee of the Democratic Study Group
  • AIDS Task Force of the Democratic Caucus (co-chair)

Prior Experience:

Nancy Pelosi was a stay-at-home mother of five, albeit with deep family political connections, whose first political foray was stuffing envelopes in 1976 for California Governor Jerry Brown's run for the presidency.

She became chair of the Northern California Democratic Party in 1977, and California Democratic Party chair in 1981. For most of the 1980s, she worked in public relations and political consulting, until, at age 47 in 1987, she successfully ran for elected office.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - March 26, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Education - B.A. from Trinity College in Washington DC
  • Family - Married Paul Pelosi in 1963, five children, five grandchildren. (See below for more on Paul Pelosi.)
  • Faith - Christian, Roman Catholic

Nancy d'Alesandro Pelosi's Parents:

Congresswoman Pelosi was born in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore. Her staunch Democratic father, Thomas D'Alesandro, was a three-term mayor of Baltimore and served five terms in Congress. Her mother was an Italian immigrant and early feminist who dropped out of law school to raise their children. Pelosi once told the National Catholic Reporter, "In the family I was raised in, love of country, deep love of the Catholic church and a love of family were the values."

Paul Pelosi, Husband of Nancy Pelosi:

Paul Pelosi, a successful San Francisco businessman and financier, graduated from Georgetown University in 1962, and married Nancy D'Alesandro in 1963. Pelosi, while wholly supportive of his wife's political career, lives in San Francisco, and spends about one week monthly in D.C. Paul is described by Nancy as a "real progressive Democrat."

Commented Pelosi in 2004 to the San Francisco Chronicle, "I've made a conscious effort to not be involved or give the appearance of being involved in her political career. People should realize that she's the one."

Paul and Nancy Pelosi's Investment Holdings:

Paul and Nancy Pelosi maintain both separate investments and separate careers. However, their combined net worth causes her to the 9th wealthiest House member. Their combined investment holdings include the usual stocks, bonds and personal and commercial real estate, as well as interests in: a St. Helena, California winery; the Auburge du Soleil resort in Rutherford, California; the Corde Valle Golf club in San Martin, California; and the Piatti Italian restaurant chain.

Memorable Quotes:

"John Bolton's record provides no evidence of the kind of diplomatic skill, temperament and judgment that ought to be prerequisites for this critical position. There are serious unanswered questions about whether Mr. Bolton improperly used sensitive intelligence information for political purposes, which contributed to the lack of support he had in the Senate. For President Bush to use a recess appointment for such a controversial nominee "not because there was a compelling case that Mr. Bolton was the best person for the job, but merely because the President had the power to do it" subverts the confirmation process in ways that will further harm the United States' reputation in the eyes of the international community."

"For the 70 years of Social Security, American families have paid into Social Security. It is a guaranteed retirement benefit for them. And if tragedy should strike, by losing a loved one or by being afflicted by a disability, then Social Security is there for them. What the president is going to do is to seriously undermine Social Security. The private accounts that the president is advocating are the first step in undermining Social Security. And the deficits that the president is running up in the budget are very damaging to Social Security as well because there is no way that the president can pay back to Social Security what he has taken out for other purposes."

"Republicans have underfunded veterans' health care even as waiting lists for soldiers returning from Iraq grow, proposed to increase financial burdens on veterans, and continued to bar entire groups of veterans, including combat veterans, from even entering the VA health care system...Our soldiers, our veterans, and our military families have earned much better than this. And our nation is better than one that would break its promises once a solider returns home....The men and women of the armed forces "past, present and future " deserve nothing less. "

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