Democratic Rep Eric Swalwell brings daughter to House floor for Nancy Pelosi’s leadership farewell speech

Rep Eric Swalwell brought his daughter to the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday morning to watch as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would step down from her leadership position at the conclusion of this Congress.

Mr Swalwell was one of a substantial number of Democrats and a handful of Republicans who came to the floor to hear the longtime Democratic leader give her farewell address. Both Mr Swalwell and Ms Pelosi represent California in the House, with Ms Pelosi’s district covering the city of San Francisco and Mr Swalwell’s covering a portion of the East Bay.

Mr Swalwell’s young daughter, wearing white, clapped along with other Democratic members during Ms Pelosi’s speech.

Ms Pelosi’s announcement marks the end of a major symbolic era in American politics. The Californian was the first woman to lead a party in Congress and the first and only woman to serve as House speaker when she took the reins following the 2006 election.

Along with Ms Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland announced that he also will not seek a leadership position in the next Congress. Rep Hakeem Jeffries, a corporate-friendly centrist from New York, is the favourite to lead the Democratic caucus.

Mr Swalwell, like Ms Pelosi, won re-election to his Bay Area seat by a comfortable margin last Tuesday. The 42-year-old ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 and took roles on two committees involved in impeaching former President Donald Trump.

Ms Pelsoi in her speech thanked her family, reflected on her time in her leadership, and said that she was appreciative of her opportunity to work with and pass legislation alongside Presidents George Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. She did not mention former President Donald Trump, with whom she clashed repeatedly during the four years he was president.