For House Democrats, Leadership Questions Persist

No. 2 Democrat declines to echo call for new team if they do not win majority

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., House Democrats' No. 3 leader, says if his party does not win the majority, it would be time to clean house among leaders. Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer did not want to entertain the thought of continuing in the minority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer declined to echo Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn’s call for a new leadership team should Democrats fail to win control of the House in the midterms.

Clyburn told Politico at a fish fry event in his home state of South Carolina this weekend that if House Democrats are still in the minority come November “all of us have to go.”

He appeared to be referring to at least the top three Democratic leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Hoyer and himself, all of whom have been in leadership for more than a decade.

Hoyer declined speculate on what would happen if Democrats fail to retake the House.

“We’re not going to fall short of a majority, so I don’t really have to consider that,” the Maryland Democrat said.

As the longtime No. 2, Hoyer acknowledges he is interested in leading the Democratic Caucus. During an interview with Roll Call earlier this month he declined to say whether he would run against Pelosi.

For her part, Pelosi is outlining what she says will be Democrats' priorities as a majority party. 

Speaking at a Georgetown University town hall on Tuesday, the California Democrat said If her party controls the House in 2019 it would quickly schedule floor action on gun violence prevention, protections for “Dreamers” and infrastructure.

“When we win and we take over in January, some of the issues that will come up soon are the issues we are asking the speaker to take up now,” Pelosi said, naming those three issues.

Watch also: Quitting Congress, When the Time is Right

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