Ben Ray Luján Named Assistant Speaker
Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) is getting a title upgrade in the 116th Congress: Assistant Speaker. Democratic Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the change to Luján's title on Tuesday -- previously, the position was known as the Assistant Majority Leader. Pelosi aides downplayed the move, saying it was a “simple matter of harmonizing the rules to reflect that we are in the majority,” but some Democrats say this as Pelosi’s way to anoint Luján as her successor. Some worried about the optics of the change and that this move indicates Pelosi favors Luján, the outgoing Chair of the DCCC, over other possible future Speakers including Congressional Black Caucus members: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the incoming Chair of the Democratic Caucus; outgoing CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA); Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who mulled a run against Pelosi; and incoming CBC Chair Karen Bass (D-CA). More here.