One of the big questions in the Capitol is who is going to take House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s position as the leader of the House Democrats?
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is presently in position number 5 in the House Democratic, and he is reportedly one of the top candidates to replace Pelosi.
Jeffries met with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) in a “secret meeting” on Sept. 1 when Congress was on recess, according to a report by Politico. Jeffries probably got Clyburn’s support to take Pelosi’s place. This meeting took place because it was rumored that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was also privately looking to get the position. So Jeffries, 52, flew to South Carolina to get the counsel and support of the 82-year-old Clyburn.
Jeffries wanted to make sure Clyburn understood the risks of splitting votes.
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Later in an interview, Clyburn indicated that he would not block Jeffries from becoming the next leader.
“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat. He knows that I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did,” Clyburn said.
It is an accepted idea that if the Democrats lose control of the House, then Pelosi will step down from her position, assuming she wins reelection to Congress. She has led the party for 20 years, and at the age of 83, many within her party feel as though it is the right time for new leadership.
But if she is not willing to step down, she may be hard to beat because of her ability to raise money for the party. In her time at the top, she has raised more than $1.25 billion for Democrats.
If she does step down, many believe that Jeffries could be the right fit for the future.
Some Democratic lawmakers have been speaking to media outlets about the coming transition possibilities. They have described reasons for believing that Jeffries is their best option as the next top Democrat. They have said that he is a “rare member who’s proficient at both the outside and inside the game, skilled enough to carry the party’s message on television but also attuned to his colleague’s needs and wants,” the media has explained.
There are a couple of scenarios that could impede Jeffries’s path to success as the next Speaker of the House if Democrats prevail of course. One of them would be if Clyburn himself wanted the position, but this goes against what he has already said about paving the way for younger leaders. Another hurdle could be if House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer decides to vie to replace the House speaker.
With Clyburn’s help, Jeffries could very well become the first black lawmaker to serve as a congressional leader.
Replacing Pelosi may not be an easy task for anyone. Pelosi has just hit her stride in fundraising. The total amount raised since she took the position in 2018 is approximately $1.25 billion, but $42.7 million of that was raised in the third quarter of this year alone. If you take into account the whole midterm cycle of fundraising, Pelosi is responsible for $276 million and she has appeared at more than 400 campaign events. Her appearances have caused a massive amount of cash to come in to help candidates win the must-win races. They hope that the last-minute influx of cash gets them over the finish line first.
So Jeffries will have his work cut out for him for sure.