UPDATE | Ryan falls short in bid to defeat Pelosi

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan failed today in his bid to defeat Nancy Pelosi for House minority leader.

The House Democratic Caucus met behind closed doors this morning with Pelosi of San Francisco, Democratic leader since 2003, turning back the challenge of Ryan of Howland, D-13th.

The vote to retain Pelosi was 134-63.

Ryan announced Nov. 17 that he would challenge Pelosi, saying she had failed to make Democrats stronger in the House, pointing to the party losing more than 60 seats in that legislative body since the 2010 election.

After the meeting, Ryan issued this statement:

"First, I want to congratulate Nancy Pelosi on her re-election. As I’ve said throughout this process, I respect and care for Leader Pelosi and look forward to working with her to promote a progressive agenda for the country. That includes raising wages and creating jobs for working families; protecting the progress we’ve made for women, minorities, and those in the LGBTQ community; and defending Americans from any President-elect Trump proposal that would threaten their rights or ability to provide for their loved ones. I’d like to thank the members who stood with me throughout this process, because they, too, saw that change needed to be embraced—I’m forever grateful for that support. I also want to thank every member of the Democratic Caucus for listening to my message and for their frank discussions and ideas on how we can improve our party

"I ran for Leader because I believe strongly in the promise of the Democratic Party, but November taught us that changes were necessary. Our party’s losses showed our Caucus that we needed to have a serious conversation about our path forward and open the door for new reforms and voices in Democratic Leadership.

"I am proud that my bid for Democratic Leader pushed our members to have these tough family discussions about our future and how we win back the majority in 2018. I am also pleased to see that Leader Pelosi will adopt my proposal to expand leadership by creating a position for Freshman members and to bring back the power to the Committees by creating Vice-Chair/Vice- Ranking Member positions. While I still believe our Caucus can do more to decentralize the power of leadership, these are steps in the right direction. I believe that fostering new ideas from new voices is a crucial step toward developing our Caucus and winning back the House.

"However, it is clear as we learn more about the outcome of our elections that we’re ignoring crucial voices that deserve to be heard. The people I represent in Northeast Ohio and the tens of millions of workers across our country are proud to be called blue collar. Democrats must adopt a progressive economic message that focuses on large, direct infrastructure investments, affordable health care, portable pensions, and public-private investments that promote advanced manufacturing. Hopelessness is a product of economic and social adversity. That is why Democrats must always be the party of aspiration and inclusion.

"To ensure that every member of our Caucus is included in the discussion to move our party forward, we all must continue to push for open discussion and to strengthen our outreach to working families and institute the reforms necessary to evolve as a Party and win back the trust of American voters."

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