House of Representatives: After Pelosi: Jeffrie’s first black faction leader

House of Representatives
After Pelosi: Jeffrie’s first black faction leader

Hakeem Jeffries leads the Democrats in the House of Representatives. photo

© Lenin Nolly/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Pelosi was the first female speaker of the House of Representatives – she is now succeeded by Hakeem Jeffries. He is the first black faction leader. But he will be significantly less powerful than his predecessor.

The US Democrats have completed a generational change at the top and elected Hakeem Jeffries as the first black faction leader in the House of Representatives. The 52-year-old was elected by his party peers in the Congress Chamber on Wednesday after 82-year-old Nancy Pelosi announced her departure.

This has done so much for so many people over such a long period of time, Jeffries said after his election. The MP from New York was already a member of the parliamentary group executive committee and had announced after the congressional elections that he wanted to lead the Democrats in the House of Representatives in the future.

The attorney from Brooklyn

Jeffries was born in New York in 1970 and grew up in the borough of Brooklyn. The lawyer was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and played a key role in the first impeachment trial against ex-President Donald Trump. In the future, the two MPs Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar will also be part of Jeffrie’s close leadership team. “Together, this new generation of leaders reflects the vibrancy and diversity of our great nation,” said Pelosi, who is still Speaker of the House of Representatives and was the first woman to hold the position.

The call for a generational change among the Democrats had recently become louder within the party. Again and again there were MPs from their own ranks who spoke out against Pelosi and called for change and rejuvenation. Critics saw her as a representative of the old guard and called for her to make way for someone younger after so many years in Congress and at the head of her faction. After the congressional elections in early November, she will remain a representative for her constituency in the US state of California.

Democrats have lost majority in the House of Representatives

Her successor, Jeffries, will have less power, however, because the Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in the elections. As a result, Jeffries will lead his party as a minority in the House of Representatives – and unlike Pelosi, not as “Speaker of the House”, i.e. chairman of the House of Representatives. Who holds the presidency is number three in the state ranking after the US president and his vice president. A Republican is expected to fill the post. “Our commitment is always to extend the hand of partnership whenever and wherever possible,” Jeffries said of future collaborations with Republicans.

Republicans have nominated Kevin McCarthy as their candidate for Speaker of the House. Voting is in early January. However, McCarthy should not have it as easy as Jeffries, behind whom the Democrats have gathered relatively united and who ran unopposed. Republican McCarthy, on the other hand, must fear dissenters in his party in the election in a few weeks. With the thin majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives, even a few representatives could thwart his plans.


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