House Democrats approved a historic leadership team for the 118th Congress starting in January. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has been appointed party leader, becoming the first Black man to head a political party on Capitol Hill.
Jeffries will have two members of the current leadership team at his side, but in elevated positions. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., will be the whip, and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., will serve as caucus chair.
“We look forward to finding opportunities to partner with the other side of the aisle and work with them whenever possible, but we will also push back against extremism whenever necessary,” Jeffries said.
Republicans are taking control of the House, and current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is working hard to get the 218 votes necessary to become speaker. The new Democratic leadership team said they will work to be bipartisan but will continue to fight against what they called MAGA extremism.
“We heard loud and clear this election from the American people that they want us to work to get things done for them. They want us to reduce the costs that they have and they want us to stamp out extremism in every form. And that’s going to be our mandate,” Aguilar said.
The current top Democrats – Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina – will still be on Capitol Hill, just in different roles. Jeffries said being able to look to them for guidance is a blessing.