Democrats Jockey for New Post

They may not be in the majority anymore, but that doesn’t mean the House Democrats can agree on their leadership. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced Monday he will challenge Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) for Democratic House Whip, the number two position for the minority party. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week that she will seek the House Minority Leader position in Congress, forcing the next two powerful Democrats to duke it out over the consolation prize. But the battle between Hoyer and Clyburn also has some racial undertones. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) each wrote letters supporting Clyburn, and claiming it’s important to have an African American on the Democrats’ House leadership team. Meanwhile, 30 House Democrats—none of whom are black—sent out a separate letter in support of Hoyer. The Congressional Black Caucus accounts for more than 20 percent of House Democrats, and alienating their choice could make things difficult for the minority party.