House Democrats Elect Aguilar Caucus Vice Chair, Allred Nabs Leadership Rep Post

November 19, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – House Democrats completed their second of two days of leadership election by elevating Rep. Pete Aguilar of California to the position of caucus vice chair.

The 148-82 vote, in which he prevailed over Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois, makes Aguilar the highest-ranking Latino on the Democrats’ leadership team.

It was also a case of the second time being the charm as he had run for the position two years ago, only to lose to Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.

This time around Clark opted to run for assistant speaker instead of second term as vice chair. She won that race Wednesday, replacing outgoing Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who is now headed over to the Senate.

In a statement posted to Twitter shortly after his victory, Aguilar said he was grateful for the trust his colleagues put in him to lead “during such a critical time for our caucus and our country.”

“I’m also grateful for the friendship of my colleague Rep. Robin Kelly, who will continue to be a trailblazer and respected leader in our caucus.”

Aguilar went on to say that his top priority as a member of the Democratic leadership team will be “to help unite our caucus to meet the most pressing needs of the communities we represent, including providing much-needed resources to help the American people navigate the coronavirus crisis.”

Kelly issued a statement of her own a short time later, congratulating Aguilar, and saying he offered a vision”that will unite our caucus to do the hard work that’s needed to build after the four failed years of the Trump Administration.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus endorsed Aguilar on Monday, as did the New Democrat Coalition, along with Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California, who is running for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair.

Cardenas and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York will face off in that contest the week of Nov. 30.

Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, narrowly won a three-way race for caucus leadership representative, a position reserved for members who have served five terms or less.

He was running against Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, and Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.

The contest was the only real nail biter for the two days of leadership votes, requiring two ballots.

During the first vote, no one secured the support of the majority, with Allred leading with 46 votes, Crow coming in at 43 votes and Lawrence, with 42.

Under the rules guiding the election, Lawrence dropped out and a second vote was held. That one was won handily with Allred, who garnered 69 votes to Crow’s 58.

The caucus also voted by acclamation to elect four co-chairs to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

The three current co-chairs, Reps. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Ted Lieu of California, and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, were all reelected.

Joining them in the 117th Congress is Rep. Joe Neguse, who is the youngest member of leadership in the current Congress. He made history in 2018 as he became Colorado’s first Black member in the chamber.

In his own Tweet, Neguse said “It is an incredible honor to be elected by my colleagues to serve as co-chair of the House.

“We face tremendous challenges as a country, but working together — with hope and perseverance — I am confident House Democrats will deliver for the people,” he said.

Rep. Dingell said after the vote that’s looking forward to serving alongside her co-chairs.

“We know that the House Democratic Caucus is strongest when we understand that we have diverse perspectives on issues and that we need to communicate our shared values in a strong and consistent manner so we do not allow others to define who we are,” she said. “We must continue the work we have begun to make health care accessible to all Americans, fight for higher paychecks by rebuilding America, and strengthen our democracy.

“But one lesson we all learned during this election is that we need to do a better job of talking to those who don’t always agree with us and not be afraid of uncomfortable conversations,” Dingell continued “President elect Joe Biden speaks to ‘Restoring the Soul of Our Nation’ and together we must restore trust in our institutions after a tumultuous four years.”

Congress

Rep. Neal Eyes Massive Coronavirus Relief, Climate and Infrastructure Package
Congress
Rep. Neal Eyes Massive Coronavirus Relief, Climate and Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON — House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal's attitude toward legislating under a Democratic-led White House might aptly be described as "never let a crisis go to waste." The Massachusetts Democrat wants to take a page from his party's 2009 playbook, when the Obama administration took office amid the wreckage of... Read More

Opening of 117th Congress Will be Different Due to Pandemic
Congress
Opening of 117th Congress Will be Different Due to Pandemic

WASHINGTON — When the 117th Congress convenes in January, COVID-19 precautions will prevent the 435 House members from gathering in the chamber together, so opening day festivities of swearing in members and electing the speaker will look a little different. House leaders have begun discussing how to carry out... Read More

Lawmakers a Step Closer to Averting Dec. 11 Government Shutdown
Congress
Lawmakers a Step Closer to Averting Dec. 11 Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON — Top appropriators reached bipartisan agreement Tuesday on a framework for an omnibus spending package that would avoid a partial government shutdown next month. The compromise forged between the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees sets spending allocations for the dozen bills that fund federal agencies... Read More

Uncalled House Race in Iowa Grows Ever Tighter
2020 Elections
Uncalled House Race in Iowa Grows Ever Tighter
November 25, 2020
by Dan McCue

Throughout the 2020 election cycle a persistent narrative was just how divided the United States has become. But an as-yet uncalled House race in Iowa is taking the concept of a nation equally divided between Republicans and Democrats to a whole new level. Since Monday, the... Read More

Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
Drugs
Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More

Feinstein Won't Seek Top Democrat Spot on Judiciary Committee
U.S. Senate
Feinstein Won't Seek Top Democrat Spot on Judiciary Committee
November 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Monday she will step down as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee when the 117th Congress convenes in January, apparently bowing to critics who believe she wasn't aggressive enough in her handling of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top