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15 Moments That Defined Nancy Pelosi’s Controversial Career

By Jake Beardslee · March 11, 2024

From groundbreaking achievements to political storms, let's explore the pivotal episodes that have shaped Nancy Pelosi's indelible mark on American politics.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Breaking Barriers and Setting Records

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi made history as the first woman to become the Speaker of the House, marking a monumental moment in U.S. politics.  Leader Nancy Pelosi/Wikimedia

Clash with the Trump Administration

During Trump's presidency, Pelosi emerged as a key figure in opposing his policies and actions, leading to several high-profile confrontations, including the viral moment when she tore up Trump's State of the Union speech in 2020.  DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos/Wikimedia

The Flight Heard Around the World

Her flight to Taiwan became the most tracked journey in FlightRadar24’s history, demonstrating the global attention and implications of her visit.  Office of U.S. House Speaker/Wikimedia

The Healthcare Revolution

Pelosi played a pivotal role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a significant and divisive piece of legislation that reshaped the U.S. healthcare system.  Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, CA/Wikimedia

Historic Visits to Taiwan

Pelosi's 2022 trip to Taiwan sparked significant controversy and tension between the U.S. and China.  Office of U.S. House Speaker/Wikimedia

Statements That Sparked Debate

Pelosi has made several statements that have stirred controversy, including her famous "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" comment regarding the Affordable Care Act.  Mobilus In Mobili/Wikimedia

Leadership in Times of Crisis

Pelosi's role in the two impeachment trials of Donald Trump and her leadership during the January 6 Capitol riot placed her at the center of national and international attention.  Office of U.S. House Speaker/Wikimedia

Opposition to No Labels

Pelosi has been vocal in her opposition to the centrist group No Labels and its bid for a third-party presidential candidacy, expressing concerns over the potential impact on the reelection of Joe Biden and calling the organization perilous to democracy​.  Mobilus In Mobili/Wikimedia

Statements on Unemployment Benefits

In 2010, during a time of high unemployment, Pelosi highlighted the economic benefits of jobless benefits, suggesting they were a significant stimulus to the economy and essential for creating jobs​  Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, CA/Wikimedia

Advocacy for the Fairness Doctrine

Pelosi has supported the Fairness Doctrine, which aimed to ensure balanced and fair coverage of controversial issues by broadcast media. Critics have seen this as an attempt to control or silence conservative media.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Environmental and Energy Policies

Pelosi has been a proponent of cap and trade legislation and has actively worked to block efforts to revive offshore oil drilling in protected areas​.  Office of U.S. House Speaker/Wikimedia

Stance on Immigration

Pelosi has been criticized for her liberal stance on immigration, opposing the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and advocating against work site raids, which she described as un-American.  Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, CA/Wikimedia

Opposition to the Iraq War and Surge

She opposed the 2002 Iraq Resolution and the 2007 troop surge, advocating for a political solution in Iraq over a military one and emphasizing the importance of respecting the United Nations and a multilateral approach.  PD-US/Wikimedia

Controversy over South Korea Visit Snub

During a visit to Asia, Pelosi faced a rare snub from the South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, as tensions between the US and China were rising, indicating diplomatic challenges and controversies associated with her international engagements​​.  LBJ Library from Austin/Wikimedia

Record for Longest Continuous Speech in Congress

In 2018, Pelosi set the record for the longest continuous speech in the House of Representatives since 1909.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia