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After losing his bid for elected leadership, Murtha is expected to chair the Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, which controls a significant portion of federal spending, and perhaps more significantly will allow him to to continue in his role as the Democrats’ point man in opposition to the Iraq War.
“I was proud to support him for Majority Leader because I thought that would be the best way to bring an end to the war in Iraq,” Pelosi said Thursday. “I know that he will continue to take the lead on that issue for our Caucus, for this Congress, for our country.”
In the aftermath of the election, Hoyer went on to offer his support to the California lawmaker.
“Our Caucus is unified today,” Hoyer said. “I intend to do everything in my power to make Nancy Pelosi the most successful Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives.”
A Pelosi spokesman said Friday that the Speaker-designate was not slated to formally meet with the new leadership team — also made up of Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Caucus Vice Chairman John Larson (Conn.) — before departing to her San Francisco district for the Thanksgiving holiday next week, although he added that Democrats would likely have casual discussions before returning for the Dec. 4 lame-duck session.
In addition, Pelosi is expected to appoint a new DCCC chairman in the near future, filling the remaining Democratic leadership position. There were no indications Friday when the Speaker-designate would make her selection, but previous chairmen have been tapped late in December or in early January.
Several current DCCC lieutenants are considered likely candidates for the post, including Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Artur Davis (Ala.) and Mike Thompson (Calif.), who is a close Pelosi ally.
In the meantime, Clyburn said he plans to establish his Whip team for the new Congress, and said Thursday that he would consult with the new leadership team on potential deputies. While he said he will consider the seven current Chief Deputy Whips, the South Carolina lawmaker said he has decided on at least one new addition, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.).