Black Lawmakers Meet with Nancy Pelosi
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is meeting with House Minority LeaderNancy Pelosi (D-CA) today at the request of its Chair, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA). The meeting comes as Pelosi is hoping to shore up support for her to reclaim the gavel as Speaker. She has already secured endorsements from members Elijah Cummings (D-MD),Maxine Waters (D-CA), David Scott (D-GA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), André Carson (D-IN), Val Demings (D-FL), Dwight Evans (D-PA), and Lacy Clay (D-MO), as well as former top Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. However, ten Democrats of the Problem Solvers Caucus are vowing to withhold their support for Pelosi -- or any other Speaker nominee -- unless the candidate commits, in writing, to certain changes in House rules designed to empower rank-and-file lawmakers and break partisan gridlock. And newly elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her first day on Capitol Hill joining a group of 150 youth activists who held an hour-long sit-in in Pelosi’s DC office on Tuesday. Their goal was to get Democrats to embrace a sweeping plan called the Green New Deal, and they came prepared with a draft resolution. Pelosi responded by recommending reinstating a House panel on climate change. In today’s meeting with the CBC, members are likely to ask about Black representation in the leadership ranks as well as Pelosi’s agenda as it relates to their constituents. Richmond had demanded that an African American lawmaker hold one of the top two leadership posts if Democrats win the House on Election Day, essentially saying that the CBC would want one of their own to be Speaker or Majority Leader. Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the highest-ranking Black Democrat, said he has no intention of challenging Pelosi. He announced that he would run for the number three slot in the new House Democratic majority -- his current position. One House Democratic aide close to the CBC suggested to Politico earlier this month that Pelosi could make a deal with the group to save her speakership if she lacks the votes to get back the gavel she lost in the 2010 GOP wave. This aide said if Pelosi backed a CBC member over Hoyer, the alliance “could help cushion any criticism that the next generation of leaders is being ignored.” If news comes out of this meeting, we’ll bring it to you. Members have until November 28th to mount a challenge. So far, no one else has announced a run for Speaker. More here.