Democratic Caucus

Blue Dogs See Single-Digit Majority as Their ‘Sweet Spot’
Moderate Democratic caucus hoping to regrow its power through midterm gains

Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore, who heads the Blue Dog Coalition’s political arm, says a single-digit majority is a sweet spot for the group, which is looking to rebuild its influence next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The nearly moribund Blue Dogs, the coalition of moderate-to-conservative House Democrats, are looking to rebuild influence in the next Congress — and they think they’re in an especially good position to do so if the November midterms result in a single-digit House majority. 

The leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition, speaking with a small group of reporters Wednesday, said they obviously prefer a Democratic majority, but they think they will have power even if Republicans hold on to the majority with just a handful of seats. 

Barbara Lee Formally Gets In Democratic Caucus Chair Race
Lee will face off against fellow California Democrat Linda Sánchez

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is running for Democratic Caucus chair. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Barbara Lee on Monday officially declared her candidacy for Democratic Caucus chair, setting up the first of what could be many competitive leadership races for next Congress.

Lee will face off against fellow California Democrat Linda Sánchez, who announced her bid for Democratic Caucus chair Tuesday.

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they want to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

Pelosi Suggests Democrats Hold Leadership Elections After Thanksgiving
Move would allow time for incoming freshman ‘to get oriented,’ she says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a dear colleague letter to House Democrats Friday suggesting the caucus wait until after Thanksgiving to hold its leadership elections for the next Congress. 

The letter may seem strange coming four months in advance of the lame-duck session during which intraparty leadership elections would be held, but according to a Democratic leadership aide members had been inquiring about the timing of the caucus elections, so the letter was meant to clear the matter up.

House Democrats Contemplate Post-Pelosi ‘Bridge’
Tim Ryan considers challenging Pelosi; members discuss idea of bridge speaker

From left, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talk after a news conference in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some House Democrats have begun to talk more openly about the possibility someone other than Nancy Pelosi may be their leader next year — although, for now, she is still the odds-on favorite to continue leading the caucus. 

Leadership jockeying has picked up steam in the wake of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley’s primary loss last month. The New York Democrat had been seen by many as a potential successor to Pelosi one day.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.