Politics

Civil War: 30 Percent of House Democrats Vote to Eject Pelosi

Minority leader survives challenge, will continue presiding over weakened and increasingly divided caucus

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.

It’s true — Pelosi is battle-tested. In this decade, though, she is also fairly experienced in losing battles.

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.

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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.

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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.

They passed a bulky stimulus plan in 2009 and shoved through the disastrous Affordable Care Act. The voters didn’t like the 2009-2010 agenda.

In Obama’s first midterm elections in 2010, Democrats lost 63 seats in the House. Pelosi became minority leader, where she has remained since 2011.

After the Democrats’ staggering losses in Senate races and, of course, for the White House, the party’s remaining elected officials and leaders have debated a new course to try to rebuild.

And despite Pelosi’s suggestion that the House was in play in 2016, it wasn’t even close. Still, one Democratic representative told NBC News that he wanted to stick with someone “battle-tested.”

It’s true — Pelosi is battle-tested. In this decade, though, she is also fairly experienced in losing battles.

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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