Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee said Monday that the group is supporting Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) for the No. 3 Democratic leadership post in the next Congress but wants more information about his duties.
“We fully support our current Whip, Mr. Clyburn, for the No. 3 position, but we are reserving judgment on the entire package until we see what the portfolio entails in terms of responsibilities,” the California Democrat said.
Lee’s comments followed a two-hour CBC meeting, with the discussion focused primarily on Clyburn. “We’re working on it,” Clyburn said, declining to comment further.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a deal Friday for Clyburn to drop out of the race for Minority Whip and instead become Assistant Leader in the 112th Congress.
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said she would be “reluctant” to vote in the Democratic leadership election before leaders gave a more complete explanation of what Clyburn’s role would be. The election is scheduled for Wednesday.
“We don’t know what it is,” she said. “We want to make sure there is a substantive weight given to that position, and it’s in the leadership, you know, and it’s not a marginal, ceremonial type of position.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.