Hakeem Jeffries Could Succeed Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives

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Friday, November 18: As long-standing Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would be stepping down from the role, Hakeem Jeffries announced his candidacy as the House’s minority leader on Friday, November 18, 2022. After the recent November elections, Republicans have gained control of the United States House of Representatives. Yet their majority is razor-slim, and Democrats make up a more significant minority than expected. 

The Democrats will be electing their House leaders on November 30. Jeffries represents the state of New York and, in his bid for Speaker, stated that his party needed to expand its ranks. “Our top non-governmental priority, for the sake of the American people, must be retaking the majority in November 2024.”

Also stepping down from their leadership roles are House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Clyburn has pledged his support for “our new generation of Democratic leaders” and feels Hakeem Jeffries “will make history for the institution of the House and our country.”

If elected, Jeffries will be the first African American to lead a Congressional party. At just 52 years old, he is thirty years younger than the current trio of top Democrats. He became the youngest leading Democrat in 2019 as chairman of his party’s caucus.

The hopeful Democratic leader seeks to lead his colleagues “to combat inflation, defend our democracy, secure reproductive freedom, welcome new Americans, promote equal protection under the law and improve public safety.” In a subtle criticism of the current political climate, Jeffries called for “a return to regular order.”

Joyce Beatty of Ohio, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, expects every group member to vote for Jeffries. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin also pledged his support and praised the candidate highly. “I think he’s extremely intelligent; he’s a good person to bring consensus among the caucus. I think he’ll be an outstanding leader.”

The other Democrats assuming leadership roles in the 118th Congress are Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Peter Aguilar of California. As Nancy Pelosi passes the torch, a new chapter in the party’s history is about to begin.

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