House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the end of her tenure in congressional leadership Thursday after Republicans officially took the lower chamber following last week’s midterm elections.
“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said on the House floor. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.”
Pelosi’s remarks were quickly followed by a similar announcement from Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who will also stay in Congress but step down from leadership. The pair of retirements give New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, now the chair of the House Democrat Caucus, a clear path to cement control over the minority in the lower chamber. For a party obsessed with “firsts,” Jeffries would follow Pelosi’s rule as the first woman speaker to become the first black lawmaker leading the party in either the House or Senate.
Jeffries, 52, has served in the House since his first congressional election in 2012. While representing a district near-adjacent to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the New York City area, Jeffries has been no ally of the left-wing newcomer and her affiliated insurgent group, Justice Democrats. As the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House, Jeffries orchestrated efforts to protect incumbents from the leftist primaries launched by the Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party.
“It’s important to support effective legislators for delivering for the American people in partnership with the Biden administration,” Jeffries said in February.
While an establishment foe of AOC and the Justice Democrats, Jeffries remains a conventional partisan who has embraced just about every cooked-up conspiracy the Democratic party could muster against former President Donald Trump and other Republicans. Jeffries is no moderate but instead offers a picturesque reflection of where the Democratic Party has shifted over […]
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