The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is vying for a return to the speaker of the House position.
The meeting happened Wednesday at the request of CBC leader Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), reports The Beat DC. Several prominent members of the caucus have endorsed Pelosi, including Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Maxine Waters (D-CA). Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama's key advisers, has also given Pelosi a co-sign for the top House job.
As we reported previously, the CBC wants to see more Black representatives in leadership positions within the Democratic Party, and the meeting was called in part to discuss this. The CBC also wanted to hear Pelosi's plans for addressing the concerns of Black Americans.
In a letter sent to Democratic leadership ahead of the 2018 election, Richmond made it clear the CBC expects to see a Black representative in one of two top positions in the House (either speaker of the House or majority leader).
“Over the past couple of weeks, several of our colleagues have respectfully shared letters of intent expressing interest in various House Democratic Caucus leadership positions,” Richmond wrote in a letter to his colleagues, according to Politico. “It is within that context that I’d like to reiterate that if there is any change in our top leadership positions the Democratic Members of the CBC endorse African American representation in at least one of the two top positions of elected House Democratic Caucus leadership.”
Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) is the highest-ranking Black Democrat. He has made it clear he will not challenge Pelosi. Instead, he wants to be House majority whip, the third highest position. He previously held the position from 2006 to 2010.
This means it would fall to a younger Black leader such as Richmond to challenge Pelosi for the speaker's gavel. No representative has yet publicly stepped up to run against the California Democrat for the top job. The deadline to do so is November 28.
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