|A new chapter of American history was written Thursday when California's Nancy Pelosi was formally chosen as the first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. It's taken more than 200 years for "the marble ceiling," as Pelosi and others described, to be shattered by a woman. But it happened as the 110th Congress convened, making the San Francisco Democrat next in the presidential line of succession after the vice president.
By all means, we judge Pelosi on her abilities. Nonetheless, it is difficult to not acknowledge the importance of her achievement - not what it meant to her, or this new Congress, but what it also meant to young girls and women everywhere.
"Becoming the first woman speaker will send a message to young girls and women across the country that anything is possible for them," Pelosi said before being sworn into office.
The Democrats have returned to power after 12 years of being the minority party, and they've promised to plunge immediately into an ambitious legislative agenda. In the first 100 hours of the session, the Pelosi-led House vows to push ethics and open government reforms at the top of their priority list. Also on that list: raising the minimum wage, reducing the Medicare prescription and student loan costs, promoting stem cell research and renewable fuels and adopting the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission.
Simultaneously, the Democrats are pledging a bipartisan effort that bridges the political divide. Yes, Pelosi says, we'll pursue Democratic-led initiatives, but we'll do so by extending a reach across the aisle and working with Republican leaders, too.
Voters sent a message in November to both parties: Eliminate the gridlock that stifles progress.
Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Congress need to deliver the change that voters demanded.
66 yr old Nancy Pelosi is the first woman-speaker of the House of Representative in the history of the USA. Presently, Nancy Pelosi is heading the Democratic Party in the lower House.
The victory of the democrats grants them the right to push their candidate to the post of speaker - the third person in US state hierarchy after the President and Vice President and also to the post of the head of committees of the lower House of Congress. Besides, they have an opportunity to form the legislative notices of Congress for the next two years.
The loss of republicans in the House of Representatives can strongly complicate the life of Bush's Administration in the remaining two years, mainly due to the passing of important legislative initiatives.
On the eve of anticipating victory of her party, Nancy Pelosi issued a statement, in which she informed that after coming to office by the democrats in January, they will act on decisive political initiatives for correcting the course of the republicans and George Bush's Administration during the first 100 days in the office.
In connection with numerous assumptions circulating in the USA that the coming of the democrats into power in the House of Representatives can mean the beginning of the impeachment procedure of Bush, Pelosi declared that her party is not interested in impeachment but a legislative agenda for resolving the issues, with which the American Middle Class is facing.
Pelosi is from a political family with Italian descent. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr, was Mayor of Baltimore for a long time and then represented the State of Maryland in the House of Representatives for 10 years. The brother of Pelosi, Thomas D'Alesandro, III, also held the post of Mayor of Baltimore.
For the first time, Pelosi was elected to Congress in 1987 from the State of California and since then, she has been active in politics. Two years ago, she became the first woman in the history of the USA to be heading the political fraction in the main legislative body of the country.
Nancy Pelosi married Paul Pelosi, a millionaire from San Francisco. The couple has five children and also are the grand-parents of five grandsons.