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By Cheyeanne Daniels- The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has endorsed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to be the Democratic leader in the House. In a tweet sent on Wednesday, the CBC highlighted that Jeffries would become the first Black American to lead a major political party in Congress.
“Congressman Jeffries is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and served as House Democratic Caucus Chairman throughout a period of enormous turmoil for our nation,” the CBC said.
“Despite this, Jeffries led Democrats to unprecedented legislative successes. From surviving the longest government shutdown in history to the impeachment of a lawless president, a once-in-a-century pandemic, resulting economic crisis, reckoning with systemic racism, a violent insurrection, the inauguration of a new President, an insurrection, and a second impeachment. We are confident Congressman Jeffries will continue building upon his leadership experience and working to create a better future for all Americans in his historic role as the first Black lawmaker to lead a major party in congress as the Democratic Leader for the 118th Congress.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Nov. 17 that after two decades of leadership, she would step down from her spot at the head of the party. Jeffries announced his candidacy for the position the following day, sending a letter to his fellow Democrats asking for their support.
Leadership voting will take place behind closed doors on Wednesday, and Jeffries is expected to win without challenge.
At 52, Jeffries has served five terms in office and been a staunch advocate for social and economic justice.
In January 2020, Pelosi selected Jeffries to serve as one of seven House Impeachment Managers in the Senate trial of former President Donald Trump, becoming the first Black man to serve in that role.
Though Republicans won control of the House on Nov. 8, Jeffries’ ascension will set him up to become the first Black Speaker of the House if Democrats regain control in two years.
The caucus also released endorsements for Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) for Democratic whip; Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) for Democratic caucus chair; Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) for assistant Democratic leader; Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) for Democratic caucus vice chair; Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) for Democratic policy and communications (DPCC) chair; Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) for DPCC co-chair; and Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) for DPCC co-chair. (The Hill)