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Boehner, Pelosi Win Elections to Lead Their Parties

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House Democrats on Wednesday re-elected Nancy Pelosi as their leader while House Republicans voted to keep John Boehner as their boss. (AP)

WASHINGTON -- The leadership of the new Congress will look a lot like the leadership of the old Congress.

As expected, House Democrats on Wednesday re-elected Nancy Pelosi as their leader, while House Republicans voted to keep John Boehner as their boss.

The difference come January is Boehner and Pelosi will switch positions: Boehner will be the House speaker and Pelosi will be the minority leader.

Boehner's election came on his 61st birthday. Republicans also chose Eric Cantor as their majority leader and Kevin McCarthy as majority whip. 

Democrats voted to keep Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, a leader of the moderate wing, in the party's No. 2 House post. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the House's highest-ranking black member, was elected to keep the party's No. 3 post, renamed "assistant leader."

Pelosi won her closed-door election by a vote of 150-43 despite concerns by some Democrats that the party needs new leadership after suffering huge midterm election losses.

Pelosi has refused to take the blame and pinned party's losses on stubbornly high unemployment.

Rep. Heath Shuler, a moderate Democrat from North Carolina, unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for the position. He said there was "a lot of unrest" in the caucus room during Wednesday's events.

"This was not about winning or losing," he said. "It was to ensure that the moderates are heard and that we get a seat at the table."

Rep. Jim Cooper, a moderate from Tennessee, issued a statement immediately after the election publicizing his vote for Shuler.

"It's time of new leadership after the worst electoral defeat since 1948," he said. "Therefore I voted against Speaker Pelosi and for her Blue Dog rival, former UT quarterback Heath Shuler."

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, had wanted to give party members more time to mull the election's meaning and its impact on leadership decisions.

"We've got to get our message right," Ryan said. "After a loss this substantial, there's a lot of people that just think we need to take our time and reflect about the direction we're going in, what issues we're going to focus on, what could we have done better. ... It's important that the next step that we take is very well thought out."

Fox News' Chad Pergram and John Brandt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.