Pelosi steps down as House Democratic leader

The Nancy Pelosi era has come to an end.

After nearly 20 years as her chamber’s top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress – a pivotal realignment making way for a new generation of leaders after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans.

After leading the Democrats for the last two decades, the House Speaker announced Thursday that she will step down next year from her spot at the top of the party, closing a momentous run for the most powerful woman in U.S. history while clearing the way for a younger generation of up-and-coming lawmakers to climb into the leadership ranks.