The speaker will resign in the new congress. — Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she will not seek re-election as House Democratic leader at the start of the next Congress when Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California succeeds her as speaker and Republicans take the majority.
“For me, the time has come for a new generation to lead the group of Democrats that I respect so deeply, and I am grateful that so many people are ready and willing to take on this enormous responsibility,” she said in a speech from the House floor. .
Two other top leaders in the Democratic caucus, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, are also stepping down from their roles, with a party leadership election set for Nov. 30.
Pelosi led the conference for nearly 20 years and, as speaker, was for some time the highest-ranking woman in the federal government. In 2018, she announced that she would serve as speaker for another two years, a position she held from 2007 to 2011.
Hoyer and Clyburn also served as leaders for more than a decade each. Both said Thursday they would support New York candidate Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, as the next leader. (Clyburn said he would seek to remain in another position on the leadership team.)
Along with Jeffries, two other lawmakers have emerged as likely candidates for House Democratic leader: Rep. Catherine Clark of Massachusetts is expected to be the minority member, and Rep. Pete Aguilar of California is expected to be the speaker of the House.
Here’s what you need to know about each of them.
Jeffries, first elected in 2012, has long been seen as Pelosi’s heir apparent, climbing the ladder to a place in the party’s House leadership.
In a statement after Pelosi’s speech Thursday, he called her the “most accomplished” speaker in the country’s history, but did not mention his plans. “She was a steady hand on the hammer during some of the most turbulent times the nation has ever faced,” he said.
A 52-year-old descendant of slaves, Jeffries could be a potential history-maker himself if Democrats take back the House in the coming cycles: He would become the first black speaker.
Jeffries has a reputation as a capable conference operator with excellent media skills for selling the Democratic message to the public (and a penchant for referencing Biggie Smalls in speeches).
Still, he may face some opposition from the most vocal progressives in the House, who have called him a centrist.
“I am a black progressive Democrat concerned with issues of racial, social, and economic injustice with the utmost urgency of the moment. This has been my career, this has been my path, and it will continue to be this way as I move forward, however I have the opportunity “There will never be a moment when I will kneel before hard left democratic socialism,” said he The Atlantic last year.
Clarke, who is currently an assistant speaker, will also represent a generational change at 59.
Aside from Pelosi, she is currently the only woman in the House Democratic leadership and has forged ties with the conference freshman.
With Pelosi gone, Clark’s ascension to the post of whip – where she will be responsible for gathering the unifying vote from Democrats – ensures that a woman will be in a high leadership position, something Clark said is important to her.
“I think there’s something about women’s leadership styles that are built around listening, building consensus, and listening not only to the people — our constituents — but to my colleagues who come from different neighborhoods, have different concerns, different pressures than I do. . ” Clark told Axios last year.
At 43, Aguilar will be the youngest member of the Democratic Party’s expected triumvirate. As the current caucus vice chairman, he is also the highest-ranking Hispanic member of Congress.
Aguilar has been active in immigration negotiations on Capitol Hill, and his status as a member of the special committee investigating last year’s uprising.
After he won his House seat last week, Aguilar said he intends to fight the Republican legislative agenda and seeks to brand the GOP as anti-social spending and anti-worker.
“While we wait for all the votes to be counted, I am deeply concerned about Republican plans to worsen inflation by cutting Social Security and Medicare and to help China by providing tax breaks to wealthy corporations that send jobs overseas,” Aguilar said in a statement. “Democrats in Congress must fight back to give working families more breathing room and be prepared to resist Republican efforts to make it easier for oil companies to kill consumers at the pumps.”
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