Nancy Pelosi had been the Chair of the California Democratic Party in the early 1980s, and in 1987, she assumed office with the US House of Representatives. Pelosi became a mainstay of the House and made her way up the ladder as she served as the House Minority Whip before being named the Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, and then again from 2019 to 2013.
In between, Pelosi served as the House Minority Leader on two occasions. Being such a figurehead of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is talked about often. Some of her policies have been seen as controversial as a result. Here are five topics in which Pelosi has been seen as polarizing over the years.
Climate change is something that doesn’t seem should be a politically divisive topic, but that’s just how it’s gone. Many of those on the right side of the aisle think that climate change is an overblown hoax, while many on the left think that it’s something that will ultimately be the undoing of humanity. Nancy Pelosi is one of those on the left that feels something should be done immediately about climate change.
Pelosi has said that climate change shouldn’t be a left-wing-right-wing issue. “We cannot just have any political disagreement or the power of the fossil fuel industry cramping our style as we go forward with this,” Pelosi said. “But to show a path that gets us to where we need to be.” There has been a lot of money spent on combating climate change, which is where much of the fighting between the left and right has come from.
While some members of the Democratic Party were once tougher on illegal immigration in the 1990s and into the early 2000s, Nancy Pelosi is not among them. Pelosi, for much of her political career, has not been big on cracking down on immigrants in the United States. In fact, she was against the Secure Fence Act in 2006 that would have built a long wall across the Mexico-United States border.
Pelosi does not support fully-closed borders, and it’s been something that has drawn a lot of attention from the Republicans. Many have said that her soft policies regarding illegal immigration have brought in a lot of undocumented immigrants. Pelosi has stood firm on her belief that immigrants shouldn’t be placed in detention centers for long periods of time, though.
Another one of those topics that many members of the Democratic Party have changed their minds on over the years, Nancy Pelosi has pretty much always been in support of gay marriage being recognized by the government. Even back in the 1990s when other Democrats still weren’t convinced that gay people should be allowed to legally marry, Pelosi stood on the side of the LGBT community.
There have been many bills that were up for a vote during Pelosi’s political career that attempted to make it a law that said marriage could only be between a man and a woman. Pelosi voted against every one of these bills, and she hasn’t been afraid to go against fellow members of the Catholic Church on the topic. Few members of the government have been quite as beloved by the LGBT community as Pelosi over the past few decades.
Like gay marriage, abortion is another one of those topics that even deeply religious politicians have been in favor of in more recent history. Pelosi didn’t wait until it was more widely accepted to be in favor of abortion remaining legal throughout the United States, as she’s always been on the pro-choice side of the debate.
In the earlier days of the argument, a stance like that could have been seen as wildly controversial, though these days most of the controversy comes solely from the Republican side. For almost every bill that has tried to ban abortion, Pelosi has been vehemently against it, and was one of the more vocal members of Congress when Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022.
January 6 Rioters
On January 6, 2021, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol as they felt that the results of the 2020 presidential election were false and that Trump won. Though it would be disproved in courts across the country, the supporters were still adamant about Trump’s victory and broke into the building, including Pelosi’s office.
Since then, Pelosi has been in support of long prison sentences for those that took part in the riot. Pelosi was fearful for her safety and was so angry at Trump that she wanted to attack him. “If he comes, I’m going to punch him out,” Pelosi said of Trump. “I’ve been waiting for this…I’m going to punch him out. And I’m going to jail, and I’m going to be happy.”