Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House Democratic Leadership in the 116th Congress

House Democrats held their caucus elections yesterday and today to determine who will lead them in the 116th Congress. While veteran Democratic leadership maintained their hold of top spots, there are some new faces in the mid and lower level positions. Here is an update of who holds which positions and what their duties are.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been nominated as the Democratic party’s candidate for Speaker of the House. She previously served in the position from 2007-2011, when Democrats last held the House. In order to secure the Speakership, Leader Pelosi will need the support of 218 Democrats on the floor when the members elect a new speaker on January 3, 2019.

The Speaker of the House is a powerful position as the de facto leader of the majority party as well the chamber’s administrative head. Like the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House is responsible for advancing House legislation and has the power to determine the vast majority of which bills will proceed to the floor for a full vote.

The current House Minority Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) returns to his previous post from 2007-2011 as the incoming House Majority Leader. The House Majority Leader is the second in leadership, helps to plan daily, weekly, and annual legislative agendas, and, in general, works to advance the goals of the majority party.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the current Assistant Minority Leader landed the number three position as the House Majority Whip. The whip is in charge of persuading members to support the Caucus position on votes and projecting support for the Caucus position.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), the outgoing Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been elected as the Assistant Majority Leader and will work in conjunction with the Majority Leader to determine agendas and advance their stated goals.

The current Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), will be replaced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who is currently one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-MA) was elected House Democratic Caucus vice chair, taking the number six leadership position, and will work with the Chair to build the Democratic Party and advance its goals.

Replacing Rep. Luján as the Chair of the DCCC is Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) with the principal duty of supporting Democratic House candidates get elected across the country.

Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) ran unopposed as for the newly created position of Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, to lead the policy-making arm of House Democrats. His co-chairs will be Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Matt Cartwright (D-PA).

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