November 29, 2018

Democrats Take Steps to Determine House Leadership

The House Democratic caucus recently completed their top tier leadership elections for the 116th Congress, which begins in January. Democrats will hold at least a 35-seat majority in the House.

Congresswoman and current House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), secured the caucus nomination for Speaker of the House by a vote of 203-32. She is expected to obtain the 218 votes necessary to become speaker, a determination that will be finalized by a final vote on the House floor in early January.

Longtime Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC), will be House majority leader and House majority whip, respectively. Both men ran unopposed and have previously held the same positions in recent Democratic majorities.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), current chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was appointed assistant Democratic leader, the fourth highest leadership post in the Democratic party. Luján is the highest ranking Hispanic lawmaker in Congress.

Democratic caucus chairman, the fifth highest position in Democratic leadership, will be filled by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who bested Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), in what many saw as a political upset.

Luján, 46, and Jeffries, 48, are significantly younger than the rest of the leadership team. Their prominent roles in the caucus may signify an upcoming generational shift in leadership, a change called for by many newly elected and younger members. Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn are all in their late seventies.