WASHINGTON: Hakeem Jeffries was unanimously elected on Wednesday to become the Democratic Party’s top leader in the US House of Representatives beginning in January, making him the first African-American to hold such a high-ranking position in Congress.
Democrats in the House are showing their support for a younger generation of leaders by voting Jeffries into power. Nancy Pelosi and the other older Democrats must now step aside and give younger, fresher prospects a chance to step up.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is 72, has been replaced by Kevin McCarthy. He is 52.
Brooklyn-born Democratic Sen. Schumer felt like it was a no-brainer for Jeffries to be chosen.
Producer, director, comedian, and Brooklyn native Amy Schumer said on Wednesday that she learned to stand her ground growing up in the borough. “You have to learn how to work with all kinds of different people,” she said about the benefits of coming from Brooklyn. Schumer also said that she sensed a “personal disconnect” between Jeffries and her costars.
The two leaders live across the street from each other in adjacent neighborhoods.
After 10 years in the House, Jeffries officially announced his candidacy on November 18th. In this post, he vowed to give committee members more power and create programs that will develop younger lawmakers who want to contribute to this country.
As a business, we believe it is important to work with other companies when we can. This will help ensure that everyday Americans can live well and enjoy the best products. As Jeffries said, “Our commitment is always to extend the hand of partnership whenever and wherever possible.”
Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar of California will also be a part of Jeffries’ team. They have been elected for the positions of “whip” and “caucus chairman,” respectively.
Despite the numerous obstacles they’ve faced, for the first time in either party, the top three positions are held by women or people of color.
“Together, this new generation of leaders reflects the diversity and vibrancy of America – and they will reinvigorate our Caucus with their new energy, ideas, and perspective,” Pelosi said in a statement congratulating the trio.
The Democratic leadership change comes as Republicans gain a slim majority in the House from their fall midterm election win.
Republican Kevin McCarthy, who wants to be the next speaker of the House, has put President Joe Biden and his son Hunter on notice that Republicans will launch investigations of them as soon as McCarthy is elected.
Despite their attempts to make tackling inflation the centerpiece of their 2022 congressional campaign, Republicans have said very little about this topic.
House Democratic leadership jobs have been held by Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn. They’ve been in those positions for about two decades.
Republicans were expected to win the majority of seats in the House, but their “red wave” never came. Instead, the tables turned and Democrats won a few seats that Republicans had been counting on.
When the president came out of the closed-door meeting, reporters could see that he was celebrating. He announced his resignation and the vice president agreed to step down.
“Hakeem Jeffries spent one-fourth of his speech to his colleagues talking about Nancy Pelosi before they voted,” Representative Emanuel Cleaver told reporters afterward, referring to Jeffries’s speech.
Jeffries, who is also known to be a fan of the music genre and who hosts an annual “Hip Hop on the Hill” fundraiser, was elected over Cleaver by members of the caucus who were up on their feet and “like at church,” as he said.