On Nov. 8, Americans cast their final votes in the midterm elections of the 118th Congress. After various tight races, Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, while the Democratic Party retained control of the Senate. As a result of this election, Congress will be the most diverse in history.
House Democrats have elected new representatives for leadership positions: Hakeem Jeffries of New York will be House Minority Leader, Catherine Clark of Massachusetts will become Minority Whip, and Pete Aguilar of California will be the Caucus Chair.
Brooklyn and Queens first voted Jeffries into the House in 2012. Following Nancy Pelosi, Jeffries will become the first Black American to lead the Democratic Party. After the election, Jeffries explained that his goal is to “advance the ball for everyday Americans and get stuff done.” He also noted that he and House Democrats are committed to “fighting hard for…young people, seniors, immigrants, veterans, the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the least, the lost, and the left behind.” He followed through on this promise through support for bills like the Equality Act and opposition to the Keystone Pipeline system.
Clark, the current assistant speaker, represents Boston’s northern and western suburbs in 2013 and will replace James Clyburn. Clark is a supporter of women’s rights and creating equal opportunities for men and women. Throughout her years in Congress, she has worked towards ending wage discrimination, protecting women’s healthcare, introducing paid family leave, and providing high-quality child care.
Finally, Aguilar, representing a district east of Los Angeles since 2014, will become the new Caucus Chair after the House voted Chair Jeffries in to succeed Pelosi. Aguilar will be the highest-ranking Latinx member in either major party in Congress. Starting in 2023, Aguilar plans to continue expanding healthcare access, focusing on lowering the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. He also promises to work towards a more collaborative approach between Democrats and Republicans in the House. When asked about his new role, Aguilar explained, “Being a kid from San Bernardino, having an opportunity to guide this caucus is a great responsibility, and I don’t take it lightly.”
These three representatives will step into their new roles on Jan. 3, 2023, at the opening of the 118th Congress.
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