The closed-door vote -- 150 for Pelosi and 43 for Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina -- lets the California congresswoman shift from House speaker to minority leader in January, 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.
Democrats also quelled a power struggle between lieutenants Steny Hoyer of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina, who vied to be Pelosi's second-in-command. Hoyer was poised to be the Democrats' vote-counting whip, and Clyburn will serve in a newly created position as the House's No. 3 Democrat.