On Thursday, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quit her role in leadership, despite remaining in Congress, her second-in-command Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also called it quits. The 83-year-old Maryland representative has been in Congress for 41 years. This comes after devastating losses to Republicans, which left Democrats in the minority in the chamber. Hoyer wrote the following in a statement:
“I believe that it is time for me, however, to continue my service in a different role. Therefore, I have decided not to seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress. I do intend to continue my service in Congress and return to the Appropriations Committee as a member to complete work in which I have been involved for many years, including my focus on education, health care, and investing in America’s productive manufacturing capacity to create more jobs and opportunities for our people. I also look forward to continuing my focus on voting rights, civil rights, and human rights which I have made priorities throughout my public life.”
The move by Hoyer mimics Pelosi’s abdication, where she said, “I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. For me the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.”
But Democrat Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), another lifer in the House since 1993 (almost 30 years), fully intends on staying in Democrat leadership. Fox News reports that the Democrat “plans to stay in leadership” for House Democrats but has “no idea” what his position will be in 2023.
One representative eying a step up in his Democrat leadership position is Hakeem Jeffries of New York, who chairs the Democrats’ House caucus. He succeeded Democrat Joe Crowley of New York, who was defeated in the 2018 primary by socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
It is unclear if GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy will have the votes to become the next House speaker after he lost support from many more conservative members of his caucus.