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HomeEconomyRising star Hakeem Jeffries announces bid to lead U.S. House Democrats

Rising star Hakeem Jeffries announces bid to lead U.S. House Democrats

Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries formally launched his campaign on Friday to become the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives after Speaker South Pelosi’s announcement that she will be the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives is relinquishing her leadership role.

If he wins the 52 House Democratic leadership election in November, Jeffries will become the first black lawmaker to lead Congress Caucus Jeffries, who is 30 years younger than Pelosi, represents not only the party’s diverse voter base but a new generation of leadership in the House.

Pelosi’s decision to resign after leading the House Democratic caucus for 20 years comes a day after Republicans consolidated their slim majority in the House and prepared to name a speaker from their own party .

If he gets the job, Jeffries will not only have to shoulder his responsibilities as House Minority Leader — balancing when to work with the GOP and when to defend President Joe Biden’s agenda — — and also take on the delicate task of keeping his fellow Democrats on the same page. One of the thorniest challenges may be easing tensions between the party’s centrists and its recalcitrant left.

The often conservative Jeffreys — known as “Kool Ha” by college fraternity brothers for his cautious speech style, according to the Almanac of American Politics — was emphatic at a news conference this week. more aggressive. He lashed out at what he called “extreme MAGA Republicans” for taking control of the House of Representatives — a reference to Republican former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great” slogan.

Republicans will formally take control of the House of Representatives, which he joined in January after gaining enough seats in last week’s midterm elections to eliminate Democrats’ slim majority. Support the position of House Democratic leaders as we prepare for this moment again. No Jeffries challenger has emerged yet.

Pelosi issued a statement supporting Jeffries and Reps. Kathleen Clark and Pete Aguilar, who are seeking other Democratic leadership positions. Progress Pak Clark is running for No. 2. Aguilar is a centrist and is expected to seek the leadership position of the Democratic caucus chair that Jeffries now holds.

‘A CONSENSUS BUILDER’

Some fellow Democrats have already praised Jeffries for reaching out to the various factions of the party.

“He will be a consensus builder. He’s not in a camp,” said California Democratic Representative Ro Khanna, a progressive.

Khanna said in a phone interview that Jeffries approached him several times to discuss technical issues. Khanna said the two had Discussed cryptocurrencies and the Internet Bill of Rights. Lawmakers.

“This will give us a chance to let Raskin, Neguse, AOC, Spanberger, Slotkin really shine,” Khanna said of the influential Reps. Jamie Raskin, Joe Neguse, Alexandria Ocasio – Cortez, Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin.

Pelosi made history by becoming the first person to lead a party in both houses of Congress and A woman for the Speaker. Becoming Minority Leader could put Jeffries on the path to becoming the first Black Speaker – if the Democrats manage to regain the House majority. was first elected to Congress in 2012, having previously served in the New York state legislature, where he worked on affordable housing issues and fought against some aggressive policing practices.

In Congress, he was in 2020 served as one of the House administrators to handle the indictment of then-President Donald Trump in the Senate trial following the first of two impeachments.

Jeffries led bipartisan efforts on criminal justice policy Efforts in this area have resulted in 2012 the passage of a law that restructures the sentencing process for certain drug offenses and increases education and career funding for prisoners to help reduce recidivism rates .

If Jeffries wins, Democrats will put the party’s power in Congress in the hands of New Yorkers. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer represents New York State and Jeffries represents New York City A congressional district that spans part of Brooklyn and includes the historic Black Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

While Jeffries is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus— — which included many of the party’s left-wing lawmakers — but Jeffries has sometimes had a tense relationship with some progressives and was uncomfortable with his ties to corporate America. Early in his career, he worked at a New York law firm Acting as counsel for corporate clients.

He won re-election last week in the House of Representatives district with 72% of the vote.

While Pelosi and current No. 2 House Democrat Stenny Hoyer are relinquishing their leadership positions, 82 Congressman James J. Claiborne said he would seek to stay on as House Democratic leader.

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