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Only One Republican Leader Even Bothered To Show Up for Nancy Pelosi’s Historic Speech

Nancy Pelosi wears a white suit and speaks from the House floor while members of Congress stand and clap.

Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will be stepping from her position as Democratic House leader after holding the position for two decades. No matter how you feel about Pelosi personally or politically, there’s no denying that—as the first woman elected to lead either party in either chamber of Congress—her career has been historic.

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So you might think that the very least her Republican colleagues—some of whom have worked with her for decades—could have done to show even a modicum of respect not just for her but for the institution they serve, would have been to show up. But apparently, they couldn’t even do that much.

According to multiple reporters present in the House chamber, Scalise was the only member of Republican Party leadership to even bother to show up. The other Republicans in leadership positions—Kevin McCarthy and Tom Emmer—seemed to be absent.

Other reports indicate very few Republicans overall were present:

And it sounds like Scalise, the newly elected House Majority Leader, is the only one who acted decently during the speech.

This isn’t surprising behavior from Republicans but it’s still shameful.

Pelosi, by the way, is not retiring from Congress, just stepping down from leadership. And she’s going out on a high note.

(image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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