Fact check: Video is not evidence that Nancy Pelosi is no longer House Speaker

Social media users are sharing a clip from the House of Representatives on Jan. 11, claiming it proves Nancy Pelosi is no longer the Speaker. This claim is missing context: the clip shows the designation of a “Speaker pro tempore,” a temporary Speaker, which is common practice. Pelosi could be seen acting as Speaker again one day later.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to reporters a day after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump occupied the Capitol, during a news conference in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott

The posts (here  ,  here  , here) show a video from the House of Representatives where the following communication from the Speaker is read out: “The speaker’s rooms, Washington D.C., January 11, 2021. I hereby appoint the honorable Debbie Dingell to act as Speaker per tempore on this day. Signed Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.” Captions on the posts read, “Pelosi is no longer the speaker of the House – 1/11/21” or “Jan 11, 2021 Nancy Pelosi is No Longer Speaker of the House.”

This is a real clip from a House Pro Forma session on Jan. 11, as seen in this C-SPAN video from the 5 minute 10 second mark here  . Pro Forma means no votes are held and no formal business is expected to be conducted (here  ,  here).

The official transcript from the session, seen here here, shows that what is happening in the video is the “designation of the speaker pro tempore,” where a member of the House assumes certain duties, powers and functions of the Speaker in their absence (here).

Pelosi was still working on Jan. 11: she released a statement on House Republicans blocking a request for Unanimous Consent to call on the vice president to mobilize the cabinet to activate the 25th amendment to remove the president, seen  .

Pelosi can be seen fulfilling her duties as Speaker of the House again on Jan. 12, the day after the social media posts claimed she was no longer the speaker, in this CSPAN video here  . In this Reuters video  here  Pelosi can also be seen on Jan. 12 giving a one minute speech in the House, where she is introduced as House Speaker.

Examples of other times when Pelosi has designated a pro tempore speaker can be seen in these CSPAN videos here  , here  and  here  .


Partly false. Nancy Pelosi did designate Debbie Dingell as speaker pro tempore on Jan. 11, however this is a commonly used temporary appointment and does not involve Pelosi giving up her title. Pelosi took up her duties as speaker again on Jan. 12.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here  .