Hakeem Jeffries to Succeed Pelosi as Democratic House Leader

For the incoming 118th Congress, House Democrats elected NY Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as their party leader in the lower chamber. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) will join Jeffries as the newly-elected House minority whip and chair of the Democratic Caucus, respectively.

Hakeem Jeffries to Succeed Pelosi as Democratic House Leader
Image credit: Getty Images [via The Wall Street Journal]

Facts

  • For the incoming 118th Congress, House Democrats elected NY Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as their party leader in the lower chamber. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) will join Jeffries as the newly-elected House minority whip and chair of the Democratic Caucus, respectively.
  • Jeffries ran unopposed and was elected by acclamation, making him the first Black leader of either party in either chamber. Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) considered opposing him but later dropped out, with Schiff reportedly considering a Senate run.
  • Jeffries, 52, will represent a new generation of leadership as he succeeds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, along with current House Minority Leader Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), are around 30 years his senior.
  • Though Pelosi will remain on as a rank-and-file member of the House, Jeffries said, "She’s not going to be the type of individual that’s looking over the shoulders of those leaders that she just helped to elevate."
  • Though Republicans will have the majority after a slim win in the midterms, Jeffries will have a significant role in bipartisan legislative efforts if the GOP faces potential defectors from right-leaning members.
  • The new leadership trio will also have to deal with the party's progressive wing, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), with whom Jeffries has clashed due to her past endorsements of opponents to moderate Democrats.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, FOX News, and Washington Post.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Huffington Post. Not only will Jeffries enter his historic role at the helm of a unified party, but he'll also enjoy a 118th Congress facing only a slim opposition majority. Beginning from a point of strength will help Jeffries fight the growing Trumpism in the Republican party. He is a perfect choice to lead a new generation of Democrats in the House.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Daily Wire. Jeffries is as divisive as they come, exemplifying which direction Democrats want to take the country. As a man who labeled his political opponents as racists without a shred of evidence, the term "unity" is the last word that comes to mind regarding their party's so-called "newest generation of leadership."