White House pounces on Tuberville’s military holdups: ‘Stop playing politics’

The White House on Tuesday pounced on Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) hold on hundreds of military promotions, saying that Americans have had enough with him and Senate Republicans playing politics with service members.

“The American people have had enough with the excuses. Senator Tuberville, and all 48 Senate Republicans who are standing by him, owe it to the country to stop playing politics with the lives of those who serve in uniform and their families, and risking our nation’s safety,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a memo.

The memo highlighted that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), a presidential hopeful, criticized the hold Tuesday, arguing that “there’s got to be other ways” to protest the Pentagon’s abortion policy.  

It also highlighted a CNN report about hundreds of military families who recently signed a petition for Tuberville to relent, calling his hold “political showmanship.”

The Defense Department’s new abortion policy provides paid leave and travel reimbursement for abortions. Tuberville argues it violates the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion.

The White House memo, titled “The Evolving World of Senator Tommy Tuberville,” also points to Tuberville’s past comments about why he is holding up the military promotions since he began his protest in February.

“For nearly six months, Senator Tuberville’s excuses for holding up the confirmation of more than 300 senior military positions have piled up, with each one weaker than the last,” Bates said.

The memo noted that Tuberville said in February that the abortion policy was an “illegal expansion of [Department of Defense] authority,” in April said “the military is top heavy” and last month said that the freeze is not holding up readiness. 

President Biden and other top officials have for weeks been hammering Tuberville about his protest. Last week, the White House called out Tuberville on X , formerly known as Twitter, posting “This you?” and sharing a series of headlines about the issues the holds have caused. 

Tuesday's memo is the latest example of the White House recently becoming punchier going into 2024, increasingly jumping in and bashing the GOP. Earlier Tuesday, it issued a statement accusing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of lying in order to cave to the far-right members of the House Republican Conference and their push for an impeachment inquiry into Biden.

Rep. Glenn Ivey says any impeachment articles against Biden would be ‘dead ends’

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) said impeachment articles targeted at President Joe Biden and other administration officials would lead to “dead ends” during a TV appearance Friday.

Ivey, a House Judiciary Committee member, said Republicans’ efforts to impeach Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas “damaging” to their party. During his appearance on "The Hill" on NewsNation, Ivey said he sees “no case” against the current president and that Republicans are unclear in what they think his wrongdoing is.

“I think they’re heading in the wrong direction,” Ivey said.

Ivey, also said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given “way too much ground” to Freedom Caucus members. He said he thinks they “definitely” want "one or maybe all three" administration members impeached.

“I think the Speaker's struggling to give them enough to keep them on board, but without destroying the party as a whole in the upcoming elections,” Ivey said.

DEA chief grilled on Biden’s plans to deschedule marijuana

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) demanded further information from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about its plan to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs during a House Judiciary hearing Thursday.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance during which she informed committee members that the agency has "not been given a specific timeline” to review and reevaluate marijuana’s classification.

President Biden put out a marijuana reform statement in October 2022 that called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the attorney general to reevaluate the federal law’s scheduling of marijuana.

The DEA must receive HHS’s review and recommendation to conduct its own evaluation process before coming to a scheduling decision, according to Milgram.

To Gaetz’s dismay, the DEA has yet to receive any such materials from HHS.

“That's unsettling, isn't it? When you don't even know a timeline, it doesn't really make it seem like something's front of mind,” Gaetz said to Milgram after she disclosed the status of this procedure.

Cohen supported Gaetz’s stance on the matter, forming a rare bipartisan agreement in the House.

Cohen claimed that the federal discourse around marijuana has always been “governmental gibberish,” and that “the government has messed this up forever.”

Drug scheduling is used by the DEA to create lists of substances ranked by their acceptable medical use and the level of use considered abusive. 

Marijuana currently stands on the Schedule 1 list, the classification meant for the world’s most dangerous drugs. Other substances on this list include heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

“What I will say to you, not specific to marijuana, but just overall, is that I am committed on trying to move things as quickly as we can,” Milgram said in response to Cohen’s question whether the department can do anything to speed up the process.

After hearing Milgram’s answer, Cohen told the administrator that he would help her out by calling his former colleague, the HHS secretary, today.

“We’re going to get this moving,” he added.

Gaetz also mentioned that marijuana’s current status provokes opioid dependencies and accidental fentanyl overdoses. 

The Florida Republican explained that without medical marijuana, patients with chronic pain are more likely to turn to opioids to manage their symptoms, which is often the gateway to an addiction.

Fentanyl, which Milgram said is one of the deadliest drugs to exist, was not classified as a Schedule 1 substance when Biden put out his marijuana reform statement in 2022.

Fentanyl related substances were moved to the Schedule 1 list in 2018, but fentanyl itself remains under a Schedule 2 classification on account of its medical value.

“I really hope we get this done,” Gaetz told Milgram. “We're two years into the Biden administration. And I honestly had hoped that by now, we would have already descheduled marijuana from the Schedule 1 list.”

Rand Paul warns Republicans against falling into impeachment ‘trap’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is warning Republicans against falling into the “trap” of impeachment after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled earlier this week that the House could move forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. 

“It’s not good for the republic to keep impeaching presidents and indicting presidents,” Paul said in an interview on Fox Business Network's “Mornings with Maria.”

“All this stuff is destructive,” he added. 

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, McCarthy said the House GOP’s investigations into the Biden family’s foreign business activities are “rising to the level of impeachment inquiry,” but clarified no decision had been made. 

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Paul pushed back on that idea.

“The other side [Democrats] says, ‘Oh they want to, they’re for preserving democracy.’ They’re pitting everyone against each other and they’re destroying the fabric of our republic, so I think we have to be careful not to fall into the same trap,” Paul said. 

Former President Trump was impeached twice by a majority-Democratic House during his four-year term. Republicans in the Senate acquitted Trump in both instances. 

Paul is among several Republican lawmakers who have pushed back against McCarthy’s comments. That group also includes Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who called the remarks “impeachment theater” meant to distract from budget negotiations, and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who told reporters, “No one is seriously talking about impeachment.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks to a reporters as he arrives to the Capitol for a procedural vote regarding a nomination on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Greg Nash)

In a statement exclusively obtained by The Hill, the White House said McCarthy’s suggestion is “a ridiculous, baseless stunt, intended to attack the President at a time when House Republicans should instead be joining the President to focus on the important issues facing the American people.” 

In his interview with Hannity, McCarthy accused Biden of using the “weaponization of government to benefit his family and deny Congress the ability to have oversight.”

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Republican skepticism over the Biden family’s foreign business activities was boosted last week when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) released an FBI form containing unverified allegations of corruption connected to Hunter Biden’s business with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. 

The White House has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the matter, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated Monday that Biden was never in business with his son.

Morning Consult poll conducted June 22-24 found 30 percent of register voters believe it should be a “top priority” for Congress to investigate whether Biden should be impeached, including 11 percent of Democrats, 24 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. 

Biden-Harris campaign manager releases ‘road to victory’ plan

The Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign outlined its road to victory Thursday, a plan that includes expanding the map, building on its 2020 and 2022 coalition and breaking through the media environment.

The road to victory also includes focusing on issues Americans care about and running as a united front, according to a memo obtained by The Hill. The memo, entitled “The Road to Victory in 2024” was sent by campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez to interested parties Thursday.

In its effort to expand the map, the campaign will invest early in ad buys in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Hampshire, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. To try to build on the 2020 and 2022 coalition, the campaign plans to focus on suburban voters “particularly motivated by Republican attacks on reproductive rights,” Rodriguez said. Additionally, they will focus on Black, Latino, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander voters.

To try to break through the media environment, which Rodriguez describes is fragmented, they will “use innovative strategies to break through and connect with voters where they are” by “leveraging people’s personal networks, through amplifying core messages online, and having personal conversations offline,” she said.

And in order ensure it focuses on the American people, Rodriguez said the campaign will work to highlight lived experiences. To attempt to display a united front, the campaign will leverage already-established Democratic party infrastructure.

“Democrats are most successful when we run together. Working collaboratively with candidates and state parties, we’ll build a diverse campaign that’s focused on a unified message, tailored to the communities we need to register, persuade and turn out to vote,” she said.

Rodriguez also argued that the Biden-Harris campaign entered the 2024 reelection campaign “in a markedly strong position,” pointing to the better-than-expected 2022 midterm results for Democrats.

“In 2022, Democrats won elections in spite of a turnout environment that was more Republican than in 2020. This shows that, under the Biden administration, we have gained support from Republican and independent swing voters who had not previously voted for Democrats,” she said.

Additionally, she noted that Democrats have been successful in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections, special elections in Pennsylvania and the mayoral race in Jacksonville, Fla.

President Biden launched his 2024 reelection campaign April 25 through a video message. Rodriguez started her role as campaign manager this week. She previously was senior adviser to Biden and the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Biden marks 20 years at DHS as controversy centers on Mayorkas

President Biden on Wednesday traveled to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to mark 20 years since the creation of the sprawling agency, as its leader, Alejandro Mayorkas, faces a barrage of criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Biden extolled the value of DHS, an agency that has faced its share of controversy since it was formed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to combat terrorism and potential threats against the United States. 

The agency has grown significantly in the 20 years since its creation. It now houses more than a dozen government agencies, and its purview includes matters related to immigration, cybersecurity, election integrity and disaster response. The department as a whole has roughly 260,000 employees, Biden noted.

“In the 20 years since DHS began, the world has become more interconnected, more complicated than ever, and new threats are emerging with the incredible advances in technology,” Biden said in prepared remarks. “Some are frightening ... many are reassuring. And yet because of you, America is safer and stronger and is better prepared to meet whatever threat we face.”

But, the agency’s work securing the southern border has been in the spotlight and the target of intense scrutiny during the past two administrations. 

The focus on the influx of migrants at the southern border has made it tough for other work of the department to get attention, argued Stewart Verdery, a former assistant secretary at DHS under President George W. Bush.

“Twenty years ago at its creation, DHS was supposed to tackle several equally important missions at all once — aviation security, securing international travel and disaster preparedness. Of course the southern border was part of the equation, but it wasn’t the whole equation,” he said. “But the political focus on migrant flows in this hemisphere by both the right and the left has almost made it impossible for the other missions to get any real attention, especially from the Congress.”

During the Trump administration, DHS was frequently at the center of criticism because of its immigration enforcement responsibilities. Former President Trump largely used the agency to implement his crackdown on the flow of immigrants into the country, and some Democrats during the last administration called for defunding Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is housed within DHS.

Trump also publicly clashed with cybersecurity experts who said the 2020 election had been secure as the former president sowed doubt about the results.

Biden said on Wednesday that the work of DHS is now “even more important” than it has been in its 20 years, rattling off its work, notably including “protecting our air, our land, our maritime borders.”

The department was at the center of a firestorm over an order under Trump to separate migrant families who illegally crossed the border, and the government’s inability to reunite hundreds of those families in a timely manner has lingered into the Biden administration.

The department's secretary, Mayorkas, has been closely scrutinized by Republicans who have complained that he has not done enough to secure the southern border and reduce the flow of migrants. Some Republicans have called for Mayorkas’s impeachment over his handling of the border.

But Biden came to do the defense of Mayorkas, who he nominated, calling him a “true patriot” who “decided his career to protecting and serving the American people, while upholding our nation’s laws and standing up for American values.”

The ceremony on Wednesday also included remarks from Mayorkas, as well as recorded messages from former President George W. Bush and Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which was created under Bush's tenure.

“The people who work at DHS come to work every morning knowing their most important job is to protect their fellow citizens," Bush said in a pre-recorded message. "You’ve worked tirelessly and effectively to do just that. I thank you for your service to our country and for the sacrifices you have made in the pursuit of keeping your neighbors safe.”

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

Pelosi’s most memorable moments as Speaker

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) announcement Thursday that she will not seek a leadership position for the House Democratic Caucus next session will end her 20-year tenure as the top Democrat in the body. 

Pelosi has been elemental in many key moments since she took over as House Democrats’ leader in 2003 and as House Speaker in 2007, serving multiple terms as minority leader and Speaker. 

She helped orchestrate landmark legislative accomplishments during the Obama and Biden administrations while working to hold her party, composed of moderate and progressive wings, together. 

She was also a trailblazer in her own right, becoming the first woman to hold several different congressional leadership positions, including whip, minority leader and Speaker. 

Here are a few of Pelosi’s most memorable moments as Speaker: 

Becoming first female Speaker of the House 

Pelosi made history through several leadership positions she held in Congress. She was elected to her first leadership position in 2001 as House minority whip, the first woman to hold the role. She narrowly defeated Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for the job. 

Hoyer would eventually serve as House majority leader and work closely with Pelosi in Democratic leadership. 

Pelosi succeeded Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) as House minority leader in 2002 after Gephardt declined to run again to prepare for a run for the presidency in 2004. She also became the first woman in that role. 

Pelosi was an easy choice for Democrats as House Speaker after they won back a majority in the House in the 2006 midterm elections. She was chosen unanimously, becoming the first woman and the first Italian American to serve as Speaker in 2007. 

Almost exactly 16 years after the party chose her to become Speaker, she announced her decision not to run for another term in House leadership. 

Pelosi served as Speaker from 2007 to 2011 and took on the post again in 2019. She became the first person to serve nonconsecutive terms as House Speaker since Sam Rayburn (D-Texas) in the 1950s.

Calling on Bush to reject plan to escalate Iraq involvement 

Pelosi was an early opponent of the Iraq War, splitting from much of her own party in voting against the resolution that gave the Bush administration authorization to use military force in the country in 2002. 

She said in her statement announcing her decision on the vote that she was not convinced that all diplomatic remedies had been exhausted and had not seen evidence that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States. 

She continued her opposition to the war once she became Speaker in 2007. When the Bush administration announced its plan for a surge in the number of troops present in Iraq, she and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) condemned the plan. 

They said the increase would delay the ability of the Iraqi government to “take control of their own future” after the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and that adding more combat troops would not contribute to success. 

They called for a shifting in the U.S. mission from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counterterrorism efforts, which President Obama eventually oversaw after he became president in 2009. 

Still, Pelosi refused to cut off funding for the military operation in Iraq, saying that she would not end financial support while U.S. soldiers remained in harm’s way. She emphasized increased congressional oversight of how funds were being used, trying to strike a balance between more liberal and moderate members of the caucus. 

Passing the Affordable Care Act 

The Affordable Care Act was one of the most significant legislative achievements of President Obama’s administration and Pelosi was a central figure in the legislation getting passed. 

Numerous Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt had proposed or advocated for some form of universal health care, but they either failed to get it passed or focused on other initiatives.  

Democrats made large gains in both houses of Congress, but they were one seat short of the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Obama wanted to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, but his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, advised Obama to scale back his plans and try for a much smaller bill. 

Pelosi rejected the idea, calling the smaller-plan idea “kiddie care.” 

She became an architect of the final bill that ultimately passed, working to make the necessary changes to get the bill the support it needed. One change included the removal of federal funding for abortion, which Pelosi struggled with but deemed necessary to get Democrats who opposed abortion to support the bill. 

After various agreements were reached, Congress passed the act and Obama signed it into law. The president called Pelosi “one of the best Speakers” the House has ever had before he signed it. 

Announcing the first impeachment inquiry into President Trump 

Relations between Trump and congressional Democrats, in part led by Pelosi, reached their most contentious point at the time after the House voted to impeach him in December 2019. 

Controversy swelled after reports indicated Trump had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July of that year in which he pressured Zelensky to launch an investigation into President Biden, then a candidate for the presidency in 2020, and his son, Hunter. 

Pelosi initiated a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump in September following a whistleblower’s complaint against Trump, leading to his impeachment. Pelosi oversaw the process, in which all but three Democrats voted to impeach him for abuse of power and all but four voted to impeach him for obstruction of Congress. 

All Republicans voted against the two articles, while former Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who left the Republican Party and became an independent, voted for them. Trump became the third president to be impeached. 

“The actions of the Trump presidency have revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said in a statement after announcing the inquiry. 

Tearing up Trump’s State of the Union address 

Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address came at a tense moment, one day before the Senate was set to take its vote on the impeachment charges against him. 

Trump appeared to ignore Pelosi after she reached out for a handshake before he began his speech. This was the first time the two of them had been in the same room since Pelosi walked out of a meeting with him in the White House the previous October. Trump called her a “third-rate” politician after the meeting. 

Pelosi often shook her head as Trump made reference to policies like health care and Social Security, but she received the most attention for tearing up a copy of his speech in half at the conclusion of it. 

“It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives,” Pelosi told reporters after. 

Trump did not mention impeachment during his address, instead emphasizing his administration’s policies. 

Pelosi reportedly later called the speech a “manifesto of mistruths.”

A video of Pelosi clapping at Trump during his 2019 State of the Union as he spoke about an end to "revenge politics" also went viral, giving Pelosi much attention online.

Responding to the chaos on Jan. 6 

The position of House Speaker is not constitutionally responsible for the certification of the Electoral College results — that duty falls to the vice president. But Pelosi was deeply involved in responding to the events of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, when rioters hoping to stop the certification stormed the Capitol. 

After the rioters entered the Capitol, Congress paused its session to certify the votes, and Pelosi and other congressional leaders were taken to Fort McNair for safety while law enforcement tried to take control of the situation. 

Video clips released by the House select committee investigating the attack showed Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vigorously making urgent phone calls to multiple state and federal officials to send help. 

Pelosi, then-Vice President Mike Pence and other leaders also discussed the idea of continuing the certification process at Fort McNair. 

Pelosi repeatedly emphasized throughout the day that regardless of the rioters, the certification process must continue. 

“If they stop the proceedings, we will have totally failed,” she said. 

Announcing her plans to step down as speaker 

Speculation built up in the months leading up to the midterm elections this year as to whether Pelosi would continue to serve as Speaker, following through on her previous promise from 2018 to step down after four more years in the role. 

Pelosi largely stayed quiet about her plans and deflected questions before the election. She said the recent attack on her husband, Paul, would affect her plans but would not say how so. 

Following the party’s better-than-expected performance in the midterms, causing the GOP to likely only win a narrow majority in the body, some Democrats indicated that Pelosi was in a strong position to decide for herself what to do and that she could continue to lead the caucus if she wished. 

Pelosi ultimately announced during remarks on the House floor that she would not seek another term in leadership but would stay in her House seat representing her district, saying that “there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this Floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco.” 

Pelosi has been one of the longest-tenured House Speakers in the body’s history and will likely take on a mentorship role for the next generation of Democratic leaders.

‘From homemaker to House Speaker’: Nancy Pelosi’s time in Congress

After almost two decades leading the House Democratic Caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that she will step down from her leadership role in the next congressional session. 

Pelosi became the leader of the caucus in 2003 and became the first female speaker of the House in 2007. She has had two separate stints as House speaker and minority leader but has consistently been a face of the Democratic Party for a generation. 

Pelosi has overseen the passage of many major pieces of legislation during her tenure and was often key to the legislative successes of the Obama and Biden administrations. She also made history on multiple occasions, becoming the first woman to serve in several of the positions she held. 

"When I first came to the Floor at six years old, never would I have thought that someday I would go from homemaker to House Speaker," she said during her remarks on Thursday.

Although she will no longer hold a leadership position, Pelosi will keep her seat in the House to guide the next generation of leaders. 

Here’s a timeline of Pelosi’s career in Congress, from her first election to her announcement Thursday: 


Nancy Pelosi, who served as chairwoman of the California Democratic Party from 1981 to 1983, wins a special election in June to fill the remainder of the term of Rep. Sala Burton (D), who died in office. 

She easily prevails in the heavily Democratic district, receiving more than 67 percent of the vote. She more narrowly defeated a San Francisco city supervisor in the primary in April. 

Pelosi was 47 years old at the time. 


Pelosi sponsors legislation in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing to allow Chinese students in the United States at the time to be able to seek permanent residency without returning home first. 

The House approved the bill unanimously, and the Senate approved it by voice vote, but then-President George H.W. Bush vetoed it, reasoning that he already planned to use his executive powers to give the students the protections the bill would offer. 

The Chinese government also had threatened to cut off future student exchanges if the bill became law. 

The House voted to override Bush’s veto, but the Senate fell a few votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority. 

Pelosi would be a strong advocate for human rights in China throughout her career. 


The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program goes into effect following advocacy from Pelosi. The program, which Congress approved as part of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, to provide affordable housing for low-income people with HIV and AIDS. 

The legislation is one of Pelosi’s first legislative victories, and she becomes a proponent of providing protection and funding to help people living with the virus. 


A provision of legislation that becomes known as the Pelosi Amendment goes into effect. The amendment, which was approved in 1989, requires international financial institutions, including the World Bank, to allow the assessment of environmental impacts of proposed loans. 

It also instructs U.S. representatives on the boards of these institutions to vote against any loans not subject to this public scrutiny. 


Pelosi begins serving on the House Intelligence Committee, where she would serve for a decade, making her the longest-serving member in the committee’s history. She serves as the committee’s ranking member from 2000 to 2003 and continues to serve as an ex officio member after. 


President Clinton signs a bill into law to preserve the Presidio of San Francisco following a multi-year effort from Pelosi. The Presidio was a military post from 1776 until the Army closed it in 1994, transferring it to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and putting its future in jeopardy. 

The legislation creates a public-private partnership to preserve the park and allow it to become financially self-sufficient. Pelosi initially sponsored the bill to provide funding for the park in 1994, and it passed the House but failed in the Senate. 

The effort to pass the bill was renewed in the next session of Congress, which was controlled by the GOP, and was successful. Pelosi helped secure more than $300 million in federal funding for the trust, which was set to be financially independent by 2013. 


Pelosi is elected as House minority whip, the highest rank a woman had ever reached in Congress at the time. She narrowly defeated Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), with whom she would work closely in Democratic leadership, to win the role, which she assumes early the next year. 


Pelosi splits with then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and much of her own party in voting against the resolution authorizing the Bush administration to take military action in Iraq. Pelosi said in a statement announcing her decision that she was not convinced that all diplomatic remedies had been exhausted. 

Serving as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, she said she did not see any evidence or intelligence that Iraq posed an “imminent threat” to the U.S. She remains a strong opponent of the war as it continues. 


Pelosi is elected House minority leader, the first woman to hold the role, after Gephardt declines to run for leadership again ahead of his planned 2004 presidential run. She wins with an overwhelming number of caucus members supporting her bid. 


Pelosi successfully organizes almost unanimous Democratic opposition to block President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. Bush put forward reforming the program as his top domestic priority days after winning the 2004 presidential election. 

Bush mentioned the plan in his 2005 State of the Union address and said that he planned to use the political capital he gained from his reelection on this initiative, but Pelosi and Democrats rallied opposition from the American people to the plan. 

Polls showed widespread disapproval with Bush’s plan, and the president eventually pulled the idea. 


Pelosi is elected the first female speaker of the House after Democrats pick up more than 30 seats in the body to win a majority. Democrats unanimously chose her as their nominee almost exactly 16 years before her announcement Thursday that she would step down from party leadership. 

She also became the first Italian American to be elected speaker. 


President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, one of the most significant legislative accomplishments of his presidency, into law. Pelosi was essential in gathering enough votes for the legislation to pass, working for months to win over the necessary support from members of the liberal and more conservative Democrats. 

Obama said before signing the bill into law that Pelosi was “one of the best speakers” that the House has ever had. 


Pelosi becomes minority leader for a second time after Democrats lose control of the House. She fended off a challenge from a conservative Democrat to remain the leader of the caucus. 


Pelosi holds onto her position leading House Democrats despite some talks of replacing her after the party lost multiple House special elections in a row. She defended her record at a press conference and her abilities as a “master legislator” and “strategic, politically astute leader.” 


Pelosi becomes House speaker for a second time after Democrats regain the majority in the House following the 2018 midterms. Some Democrats expressed interest in Pelosi stepping aside and the party moving to a new generation of leaders, but she made a deal with them that she would not serve for more than four years as speaker. 


The House approves two articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress following an investigation into a phone call he made with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July of that year. 

Pelosi initiated the formal House inquiry into the matter, which concluded that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to try to pressure Zelensky into launching an investigation into President Biden, whom Trump saw as a top competitor for the 2020 election, and his son, Hunter. 

Trump was ultimately acquitted of the charges in the Senate. 


Pelosi tears up a copy of Trump’s State of the Union address after he finishes delivering it, gaining widespread attention. She told reporters after that it was “the courteous thing to do given the alternatives.” 

Trump appeared to ignore Pelosi’s offer for a handshake earlier. The speech came as the Senate was in the midst of Trump’s impeachment trial. 


Pelosi calls on Trump to resign in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, promising to begin impeachment proceedings if he did not do so or if he was not removed by the Cabinet under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. 

After Trump did not step down and his Cabinet did not remove him, the House impeached him for a second time, with all Democrats and 10 Republicans voting in favor. A majority of the Senate voted in favor of convicting him for the charge of inciting violence, but the body did not reach the required two-thirds majority needed for a conviction. 


Pelosi maintains her role as House speaker after Democrats lose seats in the body in the 2020 elections but keep a majority. She leads House Democrats in passing major legislative accomplishments from the Biden administration, including the American Rescue Plan, to fight against the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the bipartisan infrastructure investment package. 


Pelosi becomes the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan as Beijing steps up its threats toward the self-governing island. She previously visited in 1999 as a House member.

She maintained that the visit did not violate the One China policy, in which the U.S. only recognizes Beijing as the legitimate Chinese government but considers Taiwan's status to be unsettled.


Pelosi announces she will not run for another term in House Democratic leadership but will remain in Congress, representing her House district.

How a GOP Congress could try to impeach a Biden Cabinet member

Republicans have vowed to use the full power of the House of Representatives if they take control in November, threatening everything from shutting down investigations into the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol to impeaching President Biden and his cabinet secretaries.

While Republicans are all but certain to terminate the select committee on the Jan. 6 attack, it's less clear whether they'll risk the political uncertainties of an impeachment trial.

But if they take the plunge, their sights will be on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

In a letter to Mayorkas last week, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) explicitly threatened impeachment over the secretary's "gross dereliction of duty" in managing the U.S.-Mexico border.

That missive followed an April letter led by the Republican Study Committee and signed by 133 House Republicans that avoided explicitly calling for impeachment, but laid out the case for Republicans to raise immigration policy differences to the level of impeachable offenses.

"Your actions have willingly endangered American citizens and undermined the rule of law and our nation's sovereignty. Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raises grave questions about your suitability for office," wrote the lawmakers.

The Constitution allows for impeachment of the president and other “civil officers” for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

But it's unclear what is meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors," and impeachment is understood to be an essentially political act – a Senate would need very little substantial cause to convict an official impeached by the House.

"With my political scientist hat on, I'd say what counts as a high crime or misdemeanor is what you can get two thirds of the Senate to vote to convict on. And that in itself, it's not a substantive standard. It's a procedural one," said Josh Chafetz, a professor of law at Georgetown University.

But Chafetz added that's a "very high bar," since it would require significant buy-in from the president's party.

And while technically there are no limits – other than whip counts in both chambers – to what behaviors Congress can interpret as "high crimes and misdemeanors," precedent does set some boundaries.

“The Constitution provides for impeachment in the case of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors — not for political revenge or partisan retribution," said David Rapallo, director of the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown Law.

That reading still leaves space for debate as to what constitutes grounds for conviction under impeachment.

"There's been a debate about whether there must be a statutory code violation of a crime to impeach. The general view is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a criminal act under the statutory code, but rather an abuse of power in some way,” said Rapallo.

The Republican case against Mayorkas lies largely on high migrant apprehension and drug interdiction numbers at the southwest border.

U.S. officials encountered 2,150,639 immigrants entering the country without prior authorization in the first 11 months of fiscal 2022, breaking the record for encounters in a year.

And fentanyl seizures continue to rise, as Mexican drug cartels abandon other drugs for the cheaper-to-produce synthetic opioid.

If the GOP takes control of the House, they will almost certainly bring down the hammer on Mayorkas through congressional oversight, but Republicans seem eager to raise the specter of impeachment.

In their letter, Graham and Cruz accuse Mayorkas of aggravating conditions on the border, in part by attempting to end policies put in place under the Trump administration, namely construction of the border wall; the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as "Remain in Mexico"; and Title 42, a policy to quickly expel foreign nationals under the guise of pandemic protections.

While the Department of Homeland Security halted border wall construction shortly after Biden took office, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced a plan to return to construction sites in the Sonoran Desert to resume construction of some segments of the wall.

But Graham and Cruz zeroed in on Mayorkas' attempts to end MPP, which are tangled up in the courts.

"Your expedited and repeated rejection of President Trump's successful Migrant Protection Protocols … demonstrates your willingness to embrace an open-borders agenda that undermines America's safety," they wrote. 

"You have been specifically instructed by the court to implement the protocol in good faith or take new agency action that complied with the law. You have done neither."

While the Biden administration was originally directed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to continue MPP's implementation "in good faith," the case was returned to a lower court after the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration's plans to end the policy.

A lower court lifted the order to continue implementing MPP and DHS has been winding the program down.

"In short, MPP is over for now, although there is confusion surrounding its ending," reads a post on MPP's current state of affairs on the American Immigration Lawyers Association blog.

That distinction could blunt the GOP senators' call for impeachment.

"The traditional story we tell about impeachment in America is that it doesn't apply to just bad policy. It's not about maladministration, but rather, it's about malfeasance or nonfeasance," said Chafetz.

And historical precedent is on cabinet members' side when it comes to impeachment.

The only cabinet member ever impeached was President Grant's secretary of war, William Belknap, who was accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor he appointed to run the trader post in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

While most historians agree the accusations against Belknap were credible, he avoided conviction in his 1876 impeachment trial because he resigned on the same day he was impeached.

Like President Nixon nearly a century later, Belknap chose to resign rather than face almost certain conviction in the Senate, although the House did pass Belknap's articles of impeachment.

“If it were something like Richard Nixon — that era where his own party was telling him what was coming, and it would be better for him to resign than go through that process — he chose to resign, and after that occurred, they didn't go forward,” said Rapallo.

The precedent that being out of office obviates an impeachment conviction was reinforced in 2021, when Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial after leaving office.

Because of that precedent, any official facing probable impeachment conviction is more likely to resign than to become the first executive officer convicted by the Senate.

"​​​​I just don't see any way they would get to 67 [Senate votes] based on what we've seen now," said Chafetz.

"Now, again, if it turns out tomorrow that some member of the cabinet has a freezer full of cash that they got from a foreign government, sure. But of course in that situation, they'd almost certainly resign or be fired," he added.

Conversely, Biden and his cabinet are unlikely to yield in an impeachment trial they can win, even if the proceedings disrupt an official's duties.

"If you're Biden, it's a short term-long term trade off, because maybe the department can get a move on with business, but the Republicans have successfully claimed a scalp and what's to prevent them from going after the next cabinet official?" said Chafetz.

And if Republicans do take the House, their leadership ranks will have their hands full controlling an ideological and outspoken caucus.

While at least two separate articles of impeachment have been filed against Biden by Republican lawmakers in the current Congress, GOP leadership has not invested political capital in those bills.

Any GOP impeachment of Biden risks being seen as a tit-for-tat over the two Democratic impeachments of Trump, and that protection could extend to cabinet secretaries.

“The Constitution doesn't provide for impeaching a cabinet secretary because you think impeaching the president is too much politically,” said Rapallo.

And dragging immigration into a constitutional controversy could backfire for Republicans.

“It's well known that the Republicans were close to agreeing on legislation related to immigration, but changed their minds and haven't been interested in solving the problem since then,” said Rapallo.

“So on one hand, to walk away from the effort to legislate, and then on the other, to go after the cabinet secretary who's charged with implementing the laws is a little rich, I would say.”