House Democrats in Washington, D.C., started Wednesday with a crucial vote on their party’s future. They decided to go with the past by keeping Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), as their caucus leader, but not without a sizable section of the caucus casting votes of no confidence in her leadership.
Pelosi, 76, was re-elected Democratic leader by a vote of 134 to 63.
Pelosi’s challenger, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), received more votes than the last Democrat to mount a bid against Pelosi in 2010, who only had 43 votes.
The vote shows a growing discontent among Democrats ready to eject Pelosi, a former House speaker, and change the trajectory and strategy of a party that finds itself in a historic shutout from government.
Pelosi made history in 2006, almost 20 years after she was elected to the House, when she became the first female speaker of the House.
She then took the U.S. House of Representatives on a liberal course, phasing out incandescent lightbulbs and eventually passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in early 2010.
She also presided over the House when it passed a roughly $700 billion bailout of Wall Street during the 2007-2009 recession.
Eventually, the liberal tilt of the House turned off voters. After President Obama took office in January 2009, the House and Democrat-controlled Senate were free to install their agenda, with minimal Republican resistance.