What the end of the Pelosi era could cost California

California could be on the cusp of losing one of the most effective national political allies it's ever had. During two stints as House speaker, Nancy Pelosi quietly and

relentlessly promoted progressive California-backed policies such as climate change, drought and healthcare. She’s credited with ensuring the state pocketed a larger share

of federal funding and bolstering California’s 42-member congressional delegation. The 82-year-old said in November 2020 that this will be her last term as speaker, a

timeline she has since distanced herself from. She is running for reelection in her San Francisco district, but some expect she could retire after the midterm. Now the

prospect of life after Pelosi has some Californians beginning to ponder what kind of power vacuum her departure will leave, and what it will mean for the state’s influence in

Washington. More startling to those who have become accustomed to California Democrats’ outsized influence is that Pelosi might be handing the speaker’s gavel to House

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, a fellow Californian. His Republican Party’s policies — both in California and nationwide — are often diametrically opposed to

the state’s liberal leadership and most of its residents. The Biden administration could prevent McCarthy from advancing some of his top priorities for the state. But it

will mark a dramatic turn for California’s place in Washington.