James E Clyburn

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)

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 to Wait ’Til Next Year in Term Limit Discussion
Hard talk will have to wait for incoming freshmen in 116th Congress

The large freshman class will have a chance to weigh in on the House Democrats' rules package, an and specifically whether to have term limits for leaders and committee chairs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the current impasse on the upcoming speaker election as backdrop, House Democrats on Tuesday discussed the concept of term limiting their elected leaders and committee chairs, but decided to postpone until January when the incoming freshmen will be present to participate.

“We’re going to talk after the New Year,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

Sweet Smell of Succession, House Democrats Edition
The upward mobility of people who played the leadership game

From left, Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, arrive Thursday for the House Democrats’ leadership elections in the Longworth Building. Bustos went on to win the race for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For those House Democrats frustrated that Nancy Pelosi won’t provide them (Seth Moulton, Kathleen Rice, Tim Ryan) with a succession plan that entails her leaving and someone, anyone else taking over, consider — wait for it — this week’s House Democratic Caucus leadership elections

Let’s back up for a second. 

House Democrats Settle on Top Leaders, but Fight Over Speakership Remains
Pelosi gets overwhelming numbers for speaker bid

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ organizational caucus meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats decided on their top leaders Wednesday — all except the highest-ranking one. Nancy Pelosi overwhelmingly secured the caucus’s nomination for speaker, but a sizable group of opponents appears determined to keep the California Democrat from officially claiming the gavel on Jan. 3. 

Pelosi got 203 votes on the caucus ballot, but her allies believe that’s far lower than what she can earn on the floor. There were 32 “no” votes and three blanks. New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is supporting Pelosi, was absent. 

James Clyburn Elected Majority Whip
South Carolina Democrat remains in No. 3 spot

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., makes his way to the CVC Auditorium for the House Democrats’ leadership elections Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. He was elected majority whip later that day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn was elected House majority whip Wednesday by acclamation, holding onto the No. 3 leadership position. 

Clyburn, currently the assistant Democratic leader, served as majority whip when Democrats were last in the majority from 2007 through 2010.

Steny Hoyer Elected House Majority Leader
Maryland Democrat ran unopposed with 184 Democrats signed onto a letter supporting him

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., center, shakes hands with Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., as they leave the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ leadership elections Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Hoyer was elected majority leader that afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer is returning to his old post of House majority leader next year after the Democratic Caucus on Wednesday elected him to the post by acclamation. 

Hoyer, Democrats’ longtime No. 2 leader and current minority leader, last held the majority leader title when Democrats were last in the majority from 2007 through 2010.

Rep. Karen Bass Elected to Lead Growing Congressional Black Caucus
California Democrat replaces Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond

The Congressional Black Caucus elected Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., to lead the group in the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus elected California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass to lead them in the next Congress, as the group crosses a milestone 50-member threshold.

The CBC is adding nine new members, bringing its total membership to 55. Bass, who currently serves as the caucus’s second vice chair, replaces Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who took the helm of the caucus in late 2016.

Hakeem Jeffries Wins Democratic Caucus Chair Race Against Barbara Lee
Current DPCC co-chair moves up to No. 5 in leadership

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., won the House Democratic Caucus chairmanship on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whom several Democratic colleagues view as a potential future speaker, narrowly won an intraparty contest for House Democratic Caucus chair Wednesday against California Rep. Barbara Lee

The vote was 123-113. 

House Democrats’ New Leadership Team Will Be Mostly Same People
Five to seven current leaders expected to be elected again Wednesday, some in new roles

When House Democrats select their new leaders this week, the faces at the top of the ticket will likely be unchanged from the last 12 years: From left, Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All the talk of a new generation of House Democratic leaders looks like it won’t materialize into any significant changes, as five to seven members of the current leadership team are likely to be elected to the new one. 

The Democratic Caucus will meet Wednesday — and possibly into Thursday — to nominate a speaker candidate for the Jan. 3 floor vote and to elect its other leaders for the 116th Congress.