House Democrats Give Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi a New Title to Honor Her 20 Years of Leadership

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to repoorters minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion, in the Capitol Visitors Center on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The court ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health, overturning a 50-year precedent and sending abortion regulation back to the states. "Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions," Pelosi said
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to repoorters minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion, in the Capitol Visitors Center on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The court ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health, overturning a 50-year precedent and sending abortion regulation back to the states. "Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions," Pelosi said

Chip Somodevilla/Getty House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently announced that she would not seek reelection as the Democratic House leader — a position she's held for 20 years — so that fresh voices could have a turn to steer the ship.

Though Pelosi, 82, will remain in Congress representing her hometown of San Francisco, she will no longer be on the leadership team.

On Tuesday night, though, the day before House Democrats elected her successor, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee unanimously voted to give her a new, honorary title as a token of their appreciation for her longtime service to the party: "speaker emerita."

"Nancy D'Alesandro Pelosi is the most consequential speaker in American history, and I am humbled by the opportunity to recognize her as speaker emerita," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the incoming party leader who proposed the title for his predecessor.

RELATED: Love Her or Not, Nancy Pelosi's Legacy as House Speaker Is Nothing Short of Remarkable

Democratic House leaders
Democratic House leaders

Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post via Getty Nancy Pelosi embraces Hakeem Jeffries after announcing her resignation as Democratic House leader

Jeffries continued: "This honorific reflects Speaker Pelosi's lifetime of service as a legendary legislator, notorious negotiator and a fabulous facilitator. Our caucus and our country are better off for her leadership, without question, and this title is but a small token of our gratitude."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer.

Pelosi made history in January 2003 as the first woman chosen to lead a party in either chamber of Congress. She is also the only woman to have served as House speaker, a position she's held two separate times during her tenure.

On Wednesday Rep. Jeffries, 52, was voted to succeed her as the top House Democrat, himself making history as the first Black party leader in either chamber of Congress.