WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) — As Republicans continue to bask in their sweeping election night victories and talk about a “unified” GOP government starting in 2017, the Democratic Party finds itself navigating a path of turmoil.
Tuesday, Republicans unanimously renominated Paul Ryan to continue as House speaker for the next two years. On the other side of the aisle, meanwhile, Democrats decided to postpone their leadership nomination vote until after Thanksgiving so they can mull the direction they want to take going forward.
At issue is the Democrats’ top leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who has led the party since 2003 in two stints as minority leader and one as speaker of the House under George W. Bush‘s administration.
However, in light of last week’s stinging defeats, Democrats said they must evaluate whether they want the California congresswoman to continue leading the party in the House — and they want a couple more weeks to figure that out.
The vote was originally scheduled for Nov. 30, but moved up to Thursday after the devastating election night losses. It’s now been moved back to Nov. 30 — a decision Pelosi herself agreed with.
“I was ready to go with after Thanksgiving because I didn’t want the new members to be spending all their time worrying about who they are going to vote for this, that or the other thing,” Pelosi said Tuesday, according to an aide.
So far, no Democrat has formally taken a step to challenge Pelosi but the party might ultimately tap a Ryan of their own — Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who’s said he’s considering a bid for leadership.
They lost on all three fronts — thanks to defeats in nearly every major battleground state.
Pelosi, in fact, publicly stated before the election that Democrats could gain upwards of 20 seats in the House and possibly even retake the majority from the GOP, which has controlled the lower chamber since 2011.
“There is broad angst in the Democratic caucus,” Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who supported the decision to delay the vote, said. “To stick with the same message over four bad election cycles is a mistake … I think part of it is that the messengers have to change.”