After several unsuccessful attempts to rise on the leadership track, Crowley, a titan in New York politics, has not run for a contested position since 2006, when he lost a bid for the Caucus vice chairmanship against Larson. Crowley has continued to grow his presence, however, as leader of the New Democrat Coalition. But his track record of losing contested leadership elections suggests his future may not be as bright as that of Van Hollen or Wasserman Schultz. Still, Crowley, a chief deputy whip, wields influence in the Caucus as a prolific fundraiser and frequent spokesman on many policy issues.
Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra is also among the lawmakers discussed as moving up the leadership ranks. However, the California Democrat, who is a Pelosi ally, has yet to break through on any specific issues as a party spokesman.
The lone dark horse among the top candidates is Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.). While most aides and K Streeters don’t give the conservative Democrat much chance of leading the Caucus, he earned credibility as a potential leader when he challenged Pelosi for the top position in January. Shuler received 11 votes for Speaker in a token challenge to Pelosi.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.