There are several indicators that current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, might be considering stepping down from the post. And the rumor in political circles is that New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries could in line to replace Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for 19 years. She has represented California’s 12th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1987.
The Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is by law second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President, and 25th Amendment makes the Speaker a part of the process announcing presidential disability, according to the House of Representatives website.
Jeffries is an attorney who has served as the U.S. representative for New York’s 8th congressional district since 2013. He was reelected on Nov. 8.
New York’s 8th congressional district for the U.S. House of Representatives is in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Why might Pelosi be considering retiring? At 82 years old, she is among the oldest seated politicians. Also, the recent home invasion attack on her husband, Paul, some say, has her rethinking her career. Paul Pelosi was savagely attacked and hospitalized following an attack by the home invader on Oct. 28.
Pelosi has previously pledged to withdraw from the party’s top at the end of this term, The Hill reported. This would make room for younger lawmakers, like Jeffries, who is 52, to step into leadership roles.
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If Jeffries is indeed in line for the seat, many wonder if he would fight for the Black agenda, and push for reparations to get passed.
Jeffries spoke about reparations with the Brookings Institution in 2020 and explained that there will need to be a reckoning with history.
“African Americans were largely carved out of the New Deal. So, you had the Depression and a response to it, but a response to it that only applied to some Americans, not all Americans in certain instances,” said Rep. Jeffries.
He did not go into detail as to what he would do to support reparations. Neither has he spoken of what he can do to promote the Black agenda.
According to Politico, there was a secret meeting that helped put Jeffries on track to replace Pelosi.
The meeting was in the Capitol on Sept. 1 between Jeffries, the fifth-ranking House Democrat who aspires to be the first-ranking House Democrat in the next Congress, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. He came away with praises from Clyburn.
“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” Clyburn told Politico. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”
Others think he would be a good choice as well.
“He brings old-school political acumen with an ability to relate to younger people,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri on Jeffries.
Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, July 19, 2022. Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic caucus and a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said “there’s a difference between the socialist machine and mainstream progressives.” (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)