Friday, 18 Jan 2019

House victory unleashes majority ambitions of young democrats

An ambitious group of young Democrats reap the spoils of victory in the House.

After years of grumbling about the leadership of the minority leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, the new majority has opened leadership positions with real responsibilities, and the next generation is seizing this moment.

More than a dozen Democrats have called for tenders for six executive positions, with almost all of the candidates being a young legislator having completed less than four terms. Most of these Democrats have never been in the majority, but they have all considered themselves the heirs of the trio that has led the caucus for almost 16 years.

With a new majority, they have a chance to claim lower-level executive positions that have some power. The question for Pelosi is whether this new dynamic could also help relieve Pelosi and his senior lieutenants, representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) And James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.).

All three seek to seize the first three positions – speaker, majority leader, majority whip – in the face of resistance from some internal Democratic critics.

These rebels are still trying to find a way to overthrow Pelosi, but their biggest problem is the lack of a challenger so far in the Democratic vote, scheduled for Nov. 28.

Once his representative, Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), elected after ten terms, lost his primary in June, the group of potential Democratic leaders quickly lost its importance.

Instead, aspiring Democrats are fighting for positions that will give them the chance to impress their colleagues and then run for the top spots as soon as Pelosi, 78, Hoyer, 79, and Clyburn, 78 will inevitably retire.

"I'm running for this position because, coming from a district that voted for Donald Trump, I live and breathe every day of my career in Congress," said representative Cheri Bustos (D-Ill. ) In a statement launching his candidacy for the presidency of the Committee of the campaign of the Democratic Congress. "The most effective way to improve the lives of hard-working American workers is to help secure our new Democratic majority."

Bustos, 57, has just been elected to make his fourth term in a somewhat rural district of western Illinois. A former journalist and editor-in-chief of the Quad-City Times, she has been widely regarded as one of the party's most effective communicators, particularly on the economic issues related to the stagnation of middle-class wages.

But there is no free pass, so Bustos is probably against two Democrats in Washington, representatives Denny Heck, 66, and Suzan DelBene, 56, who have held positions as politicians in the caucus during last years. .

The three candidates were elected for the first time in Congress in 2012.

"These were not weathervanes. These are not people who are content to be backbenchers, "said former Congressman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).

As President of the DCCC in 2012 and 2014, Israel helped recruit these three people and knows many of the other newcomers to the leadership races.

At least one Democrat is looking for one of the best seats while 61-year-old representative Diana DeGette (Colo.), Launches a challenge to Clyburn for the majority whip.

Two other key competitions are for the Deputy Democrat Leader and the Democratic Caucus Chair.

Pelosi created the first post after the 2010 elections overthrew majority Democrats, giving Clyburn a soft landing, since the minority traditionally occupies one less leadership position.

He introduces himself to his former position as majority whip and creates a competition to replace him as deputy leader who will test the ideological and political boundaries of the caucus: the representative Ben Ray Luján (NM) against the representative David N. Cicilline (RI). ).

Luján, 46, has been chairman of the DCCC for four years, following the disappointing elections of 2016 and Tuesday's defeat against the Republicans. Cicilline, 57, is a prominent member of the Progressive Caucus, co-chair of the LGBT Caucus, and was elected two years ago as co-chair of a policy committee.

The Caucus Chair's contest is a generational clash in the Congressional black caucus: 72-year-old Barbara Lee (California), a 20-year-old veteran, versus 48-year-old Hakeem Jeffries (NY), elected for the first time in 2012.

Pelosi does not have the same weight in the caucus as she did eight years ago. She therefore focuses entirely on her own attempt to complete the votes to become the first person to return to the speaker's stand since 1955.

This means that these downward races are even more open, as opposed to the post-election defeat and recrimination seasons. After these losses, Pelosi would crush the rebellion by creating new leadership positions, some of which would have a real weight, others a mere facade.

The biggest joker, for the election of the president and the other positions, will likely be the class of freshmen, which will number at least 54. This represents about 20% of the votes in secret ballots.

"We are keeping our word, we are keeping our promises, and I hope people will find it refreshing," said Washington DC representative Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Insisting on the fact that He would not vote for Pelosi.

Crow and many others have pledged not to support Pelosi during their campaigns. It's unclear how many people will vote against her during the internal vote later this month and then say that they must vote for her on behalf of the public call on January 3 in plenary, rather than do anything to help the Republicans.

A last booty of victory is constituted by the missions of the committees, which develop considerably for the majority party.

Only 14 Democrats, currently serving on the Ways and Means Committee, are responsible for overseeing health, trade and taxation issues. The next speaker will be able to add about 10 new members to this committee.

There will be about 10 additional places, combined, within the powerful committees of credits and energy and trade.

Pelosi will undoubtedly try to convince the faithful by promising to bring these legislators into the main committees of their choice.

If she wins, however, even her close allies feel she will not stay long. Israel said that once these young democrats enter somewhat powerful leadership positions, they will soon consider the most important positions to take.

This group will be content with these lower level positions "for the moment," he said. "These positions will be stepping stones."

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