Democratic leadership

Lowey faces her first primary challenge in three decades
Powerful chairwoman to face 32-year-old newcomer in Democratic contest

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, an 82-year-old incumbent who was first elected in 1988, speaks to reporters in July 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The year was 1988. Def Leppard topped the charts and stonewashed jeans were all the rage. It was also the last time powerful House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey faced a primary challenge.

That’s all changed now with the decision by Mondaire Jones, a former Obama administration Justice Department staffer and attorney for Westchester County’s Law Department, to challenge Lowey in next June’s primary. The 32-year-old political novice plans to take on the New York Democratic incumbent over her positions on issues ranging from climate change to student debt forgiveness to oversight of the Trump administration.

Pelosi on Green New Deal: ‘I can’t say we’re going to take that and pass it’
Speaker says committees will vet various proposals using evidence-based approach

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she will not commit to the House voting on the Green New Deal. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The ambitious Green New Deal proposal for combating climate change was dealt another blow Wednesday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to commit to holding a vote on the nonbinding resolution. 

“I can’t say we’re going to take that and pass it because we have to go through our checks and balances of it with our committee chairs and the rest,” the California Democrat said when asked about the Green New Deal during a Howard University lecture series. 

Pelosi: ‘Four years? No, I Don’t Think That’s a Lame Duck’
Speaker hopeful says she’s ‘comfortable’ with term limit deal, just didn’t want one-term cap

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tells reporters after her weekly news conference on Thursday that agreeing to limit her pending speakership to four years does not make her a lame duck. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn’t feel handicapped by the deal she cut Wednesday to limit her pending speakership to no more than two terms. 

“Four years? No, I don’t think that’s a lame duck, no,” the California Democrat said Thursday when asked if she felt she has made herself one by agreeing to the term limit.

Pelosi Agrees to Deal Limiting Her Speakership to 4 Years
Caucus may not formally adopt leadership term limits but Pelosi agrees to hold herself to a maximum of two more terms

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has agreed to limit her pending speakership to a maximum of two more terms to win the support of five members who otherwise opposed her bid.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:21 p.m.Nancy Pelosi is doing exactly what she said she wouldn’t in order to secure the votes she needs to be elected speaker — putting an end date on her tenure as the top House Democratic leader. 

Under an agreement reached with seven Democrats who opposed her speaker bid, Pelosi will back term limits for the top three Democratic leaders. The limit she has agreed to will prevent her from serving as speaker beyond another four years. 

Term Limits Talks Roil House Democrats
Talk of compromise on matter comes amid consternation

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in talks with a few Democratic opponents to her speaker bid about term limits on party leaders and committee chairs, an idea opposed by many in her caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are at odds over whether to adopt intraparty term limits for their elected leaders and committee chairs, even as it offers them a way out of their current impasse on the race for the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus has long wrestled with the idea of term limits. House Republicans adopted a rule in 1995 to limit committee chairs to serving three terms. Democrats kept that rule in place when they took the majority in 2007 but then decided two years later to get rid of it.

House Democrats’ New Elected Leadership Team Is More Progressive and Diverse
On average, new leadership team is also younger in terms of age and length of service

The incoming House Democratic leadership team poses for a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Front row, from left: Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Back row, from left: Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Katie Hill, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The newly elected House Democratic leadership team for the 116th Congress will be more progressive, diverse and younger in terms of both age and length of service compared to the current one. 

That should generally please Democrats who called for changes in their leadership team, despite the top three long-reigning leaders remaining in charge. 

Pelosi and Her Opponents Downplay Importance of Caucus Vote in Speaker Battle
Secret ballot may not provide a clear picture on how much support Pelosi will have on the floor

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is confident the closed-door Democratic Caucus leadership elections Wednesday will prove she has strong support for her speaker bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the small contingent of members who oppose her are both heading into Wednesday’s leadership elections knowing she’ll emerge as the caucus’s nominee for speaker.

But the two sides still have different expectations for what will happen in a Jan. 3 floor vote five weeks from now, as Pelosi remains confident she’ll have the support of the majority of the House to secure the gavel and her opponents are still predicting she won’t.

Pelosi Endorses Hoyer, Clyburn for Nos. 2 and 3 Leadership Positions
“House Democrats must show … we are prepared to govern and get the job done”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is endorsing Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., to be majority leader and James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., to be majority whip. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday endorsed her top two deputies, Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, to remain in their respective Nos. 2 and 3 leadership positions in the majority. 

Hoyer, the current minority whip, is running for majority leader and Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, is running for majority whip. Both are running unopposed after Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette dropped out of the whip race Monday.

16 Pelosi Opponents Sign Letter Saying They Won't Vote For Her for Speaker
Opposition could spell trouble for Pelosi in speaker election on the floor

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., pictured speaking to reporters in the Capitol on November 15, 2018, is one of 16 Democrats who signed a letter saying they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:53 p.m. | Sixteen Democrats have signed a letter released Monday saying they will vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

While the opposition would appear to be more votes than the California Democrat can afford to lose in a floor vote, two of the signees — Ben McAdams of Utah and Anthony Brindisi of New York — are in races that have yet to be called. 

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview.