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Hakeem Jeffries: Man who’ll succeed Nancy Pelosi as a House Speaker in 2022

Hakeem Jeffries

There is undoubtedly a generational shift in the Democratic Party’s upper echelons.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, and her successor in charge, Steny Hoyer, 83, have been steering the caucus for more than 20 years.

Hakeem Jeffries from the Democratic party succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW.
Hakeem Jeffries succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Thirty years younger than them, New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries isn’t so much chosen as a quickly appointed successor to Ms. Pelosi, having no competition at all and receiving the unanimous acceptance and approval of the current leadership.

Mr. Jeffries was the first African-American American to hold an important position in Congress. In addition, with the nominations by Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California in the two leadership positions to come The Democratic highest level of government will soon be void of white males at the beginning of the party’s history of Congress.

Hakeem Jeffries succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW
Hakeem Jeffries succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It’s a significant momentous occasion. However, before people get too obsessed with the prospect of change, it’s worth pausing and asking if the party’s strategy will differ in the event of at least two years in the minority.

A glance at Mr. Jeffries’s resume will reveal that it is a distinctly traditional path to politics: initially an attorney, then an appearance in the New York statehouse, and later, a trip to Congress.

Although he is a part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), some leftists have already dismissed him as an unrelated “corporate Democrat.” Despite his assertion that it’s a “black moderate Democrat,” he said to an interviewer: “There will never be an instance where I bow the knee to democratic hard-left socialism.”

Hakeem Jeffries succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW
Hakeem Jeffries succeeded Nancy Pelosi. USA TODAY and TOMORROW. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

This conflicts with Mr. Jeffries’ rhetoric and is attributable, at best, to his support for the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, which has grown more influential in the last six years, especially among younger voters.
It would also not go unnoticed on the left when he and two other allies created the Team Blue political action committee to defend incumbent Democrats in the primary from challenges by the right.

Interestingly, the CPC could not present a credible candidate from its side for its top position, possibly indicating that moderates are on the rise and have several Biden legislative victories to their credit from the two years. These include the American Rescue plan, infrastructure-related measures, and an unproportional gun control law. They could also get some satisfaction from the fact that they fought off the widely anticipated red wave during the midterm elections, which saw Republicans far from the norms of opposition parties in the face of the incumbent president who has been sunk to the 40s.

In the case of Mr. Jeffries, the second man in his group, Katherine Clark, 59, has also followed an essentially traditional path. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus but is not among its most steadfast members.

Mr. Jeffries could point out areas in which he’s a bit open to the goals of those in the right wing of his party. He isn’t directly against Medicare for all and has strongly supported a $15-per-hour national minimum wage.

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However, since Democrats are in the minority in the House and the Senate, there is very little chance to guide one of their political goals to the statute books in any way.

The speech he delivered at his announcement was a promise. Jeffries stated that he would work beyond the political divide whenever possible and remain neutral when necessary.

The single-digit majority Republicans will have during the 118th Congress is an enormous and unanticipated chance for Mr. Jeffries and his team in 2024.

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Presidential elections, of course, play their part in determining who will get the advantage in Congress. However, with the Speakership for the next two years, the main pressure is undoubtedly on Jeffries to bring his party to the point that it can take back the House when the time comes to make a request.

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Maria Joseph
Maria Joseph
I am a freelance writer. My articles cover current affairs in government, banking, auto, business and other salient news of the day. Each topic is well researched from multiple sources and written with focus on detail.


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