REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
Date of Birth: March 26, 1940.
Education: A.B., Trinity College.
Career Path: The daughter of a mayor of Baltimore, Pelosi entered politics after raising five children and becoming the chairwoman of the California Democratic Party. Pelosi won a special election in 1987 to fill the U.S. House seat held by Sala Burton, When Burton became terminally ill, she hand-picked Pelosi to succeed. Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House in 2006.
Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: None.
Why She's a Player Now: Pelosi is the leader of the House Democrats and will try to corral the three House committees with jurisdiction to produce an acceptable bill. She will also have to fend off criticism of the "Blue Dog" Democrats who might object to the cost of the bill.
Quote: "Our goal is to have a healthier America. Our legislation will be on the floor by the end of July — I am quite certain — and that is really cause for celebration for the American people. The President's commitment to making our country healthier — again, with affordable, accessible and quality health care, where every person, if he or she likes the plan they have, can keep that plan. Also recognizing that health care reform is entitlement reform, and this is about cost — taking down the cost of health care to the Americans, to our economy and to our budget.” (White House news conference, May 13, 2009)
Read about the other 'Players'.