Nancy Pelosi may be the most powerful congressional leader in modern U.S. history.
In the 22 months since she’s returned to the speaker’s chair — an enormous achievement in itself — Pelosi has centralized power in an unprecedented way. It’s due not just to her own maneuvering, but to a variety of circumstances: a chaotic president, a paralyzed Senate, and a national health emergency that’s spurred the most serious economic crisis in decades.
For many Democrats, Pelosi is the face of the resistance to President Donald Trump. From clashes over government shutdowns to impeachment to yelling matches in the White House and publicly tearing up a copy of his State of the Union address, Pelosi has been Trump’s chief antagonist. There have been acrimonious relationships between presidents and House speakers before, but never one so public or so bitter. It’s been over a year since the two have spoken.