House leadership

Cheri Bustos Drops Out of Assistant Leader Race to Run for DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat’s decision avoids face-off with current DCCC chairman Luján

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., is dropping out of the assistant Democratic leader race to run for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos announced Friday that she was dropping out of the race for the next assistant Democratic leader and would instead seek to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

“One of the greatest challenges we face in the next Congress is defending and expanding our majority,” Bustos said.

Hakeem Jeffries Enters Democratic Caucus Chair Race
Now a three-way contest as Reps. Linda Sánchez and Barbara Lee were already running

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., is running for Democratic Caucus chair against California Reps. Linda Sanchez and Barbara Lee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announced Thursday that he is running for Democratic Caucus chair, creating another three-way leadership race

California Reps. Linda Sánchez and Barbara Lee had announced months ago they were running for caucus chair. The two had squared off against one another for vice chair in 2016, a race that Sánchez won by just two votes. 

Luján Jumping in Assistant Democratic Leader Race, Creating 3-Way Contest
Reps. Cheri Bustos and David Cicilline are also running for the No. 4 leadership slot

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., is running for assistant Democratic leader. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced a bid for assistant Democratic leader Wednesday, creating a three-way race for the incoming majority’s No. 4 leadership slot.

The New Mexico Democrat is running against Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island in the caucus’s first contested election for the assistant leader post. 

15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes
8 Democrats, 7 Republicans part of bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., said he will not vote for a speaker who doesn’t back the Problem Solvers Caucus proposed rule changes for making the House more bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.

The Problem Solvers unveiled a package of rules changes in late July dubbed “Break the Gridlock.” The proposals aim to open up the legislative process in a way that prioritizes bipartisanship.

Paul Ryan Swan Song Tour Continues At Reagan Institute Launch
Retiring speaker has been giving speeches that highlight themes of his 20-year career

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Summer Intern Lecture Series in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on July 25, one of several appearances he’s made in his final months in office to highlight themes of his speakership. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s final few months in office will likely be shaped by his handling of a looming government funding battle and his party’s performance in the midterm elections, but he has a different message he’d like to send as he departs. 

“Most days, we tend to lurch from crisis to crisis, whether real or manufactured. But we need to have the ability to look around the corner, and plan for what’s ahead,” Ryan plans to say Thursday during a speech at the launch of the Reagan Institute in Washington, according to prepared remarks shared with Roll Call. 

Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’
New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., says it’s “a problem” that the top three House Democratic leaders are in their late 70s. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition wouldn’t say Friday whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House Democratic leader but he did vocalize an issue with the current leadership team.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is in fact a problem,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN.

Trump to Democrats: Give Pelosi Another Chance
Critics of the California Democrat within her own party have grown

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference on July 26 before the House leaves for the August recess . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As more Democratic candidates say they will not support keeping Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader next year, President Donald Trump is urging them to reconsider. 

“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi,” Trump tweeted Friday evening. “She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”

Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi Let Fly the Shark Jumping, Russia Zingers
Normally staid Thursday pressers get lively

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, pictured here, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi let loose the zingers at their Thursday news conferences. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday’s weekly House leadership press conferences were full of lively remarks, with Speaker Paul D. Ryan saying Democrats on the left “jumped the sharks” in their push to abolish ICE and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi suggesting Russia has leverage over President Donald Trump.

The Wisconsin Republican and California Democrat hold weekly press conferences every Thursday with reporters in the Capitol to discuss news of the week. Their answers are mostly predictable and often mundane but occasionally they bring some zeal.

McCarthy Denies Talk of Forcing Ryan Out of Speaker Post
Mulvaney said he's talked to McCarthy about that privately but McCarthy denies

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, denies that he’s trying to force Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, to give up his gavel early. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday denied that he is trying to force Speaker Paul D. Ryan to give up his gavel early to trigger a speaker race before the November election. 

“Paul is here until the end of the election,” the California Republican said when asked if he definitely will not run for speaker before the November election. 

Why the Speaker Race Won’t Fade Away Until November
Potential candidates lack a path to 218 votes and need time to build coalitions

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the front-runner to succeed retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., but there is a long way to go until the November elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans don’t know if they will be holding a speaker’s race or a contest for minority leader come November, but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for the former. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the leading candidate to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, needs more time to build sufficient support to win a still-hypothetical speaker’s race. The same goes for other members eyeing the position.