Hakeem Jeffries: Nancy Pelosi’s successor, who may become the first black speaker of the US House of Representatives

Hakeem Jeffries: Nancy Pelosi’s successor, who may become the first black speaker of the US House of Representatives
Hakeem Jeffries: Nancy Pelosi’s successor, who may become the first black speaker of the US House of Representatives

Hakeem Jeffries: Nancy Pelosi’s successor, who may become the first black speaker of the US House of Representatives

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Hakeem Jeffries

Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Congress, has resigned and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is the favorite to succeed her.

Jefferies is the fifth-highest rank in the Democratic Party leadership ladder since 2018, when his fellow Democratic Party leaders elected him leader of the House of Representatives.

Jeffries’ much-awaited rise to power makes him the first black man to lead a party in the US Congress.

But he will be the leader of the minority, not the Speaker of the House.” Republicans regained a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, in last week’s midterm elections.

California Republican Kevin McCarthy, who is currently the leader of the minority, has been named speaker of the House of Representatives.

Jeffries, a 52-year-old descendant of slaves, could become a history maker if Democrats regain control of the House in the future as he will be the first black House Speaker.

Pelosi retired

On Thursday, all eyes were on Nancy Pelosi, 82, who announced her retirement. “It’s time for a new generation to lead the Democratic Party,” she said.

The move appeared to be coordinated with Pelosis’ two senior deputies, Steiny Hoyer, 83, and Jim Claiburn, 82, who were quick to make statements about their future plans.

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“It’s time for a new generation to lead the Democratic Party,” Pelosi said.

Both men have expressed their support for Jefferies, with Claiburn writing that his focus is to “do whatever I can to help our new generation of Democratic leaders, who I hope will be Hakeem Jeffries, Catherine Clark and the house of Aguilar”.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark, 59, of Massachusetts, was nominated for chair of the party’s disciplinary committee, a position second in the Democratic leadership. Pete Aguilar, 43, of California, is currently vice chairman of the Caucus and is being considered in Congress to succeed Jeffries in the party leadership.

A change in leadership could help allay complaints from some Democratic voters that the party leadership is aging.

But the rookie trio have strong ties to the establishment, and Jefferies in particular is known for sometimes clashing with the left wing of the party.

For his part, Jefferies praised Pelosi in a statement released Thursday, describing her as “the most successful Speaker of the House in American history.”

“She was the steady hand on the gavel during some of the most turbulent times the nation has ever known,” he wrote.

As Democrats retain their majority in the upper house of Congress (the Upper House), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is likely to remain in office; That means the Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress will be from New York State.

The new Democratic leader of the House of Representatives is expected to work closely with others in the party leadership on legislation and strategy.

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The Democrats nominated Katherine Clark, 59, of Massachusetts, to become the chair of the party’s Disciplinary Committee.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, 62, has gained notoriety among Democrats in recent years thanks to his leadership in the impeachment trial against Donald Trump and subsequent investigation into the former Republican president’s role in his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. From 2021.

But a well-informed source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Schiff is not seeking a leadership position in the House of Representatives and is instead considering running for the US Senate.

The minority leader position has much less power than the speaker. And the duty of the Democratic leadership team (the minority in the House of Representatives) will be to decide whether and when to help Republicans pass important legislation, such as government-funding bills, amid possible far-right Republican revolts.

It is noteworthy that the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives is the only position in Congress specified in the US Constitution. After the vice president, in emergencies, this position comes in the order of presidency.

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Kevin McCarthy won the Republican nomination for speaker

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, his alternates and the Chairmen of the committees determine the bills to be considered and voted on. They set the agenda and set the rules that govern the debate.

Democrats and Republicans have switched positions over the past two decades. Pelosi was Minority Leader, the title held by the person leading the opposition in the House of Representatives, in 2003, then in 2006 Democrats took control of the House for the first time in more than a decade, and she became the first woman to lead a large party in one of the chambers of Congress.

Pelosi became minority leader again four years later, but returned to the Speaker’s seat in 2018.

But who is Hakeem Jeffries?

He is an attorney from New York, New York, and has represented the state’s 8th congressional district in the House of Representatives since 2013.

The US House of Representatives website states that Hakeem Jeffreys was born on August 4, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York, where he was raised and educated in its schools. His parents are Marland Jeffries, a drug counselor, and Lanida Jeffries, a social worker.

Jeffries received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating with honors for outstanding academic achievement, and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

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Jeffries then attended New York University School of Law, graduating with honors. After completing his law degree, Jeffreys practiced law for several years in a number of well-known law firms.

Prior to his election to Congress in 2013, Jeffries served 6 years in the New York State Legislature, where he worked to pass legislation protecting the civil liberties of law-abiding New Yorkers during police interrogation and to promote the conversion of vacant luxury homes into affordable ones housing for working families; and improving the quality of justice in the civil court system.

Hakeem Jeffries represents New York’s ethnically diverse 8th congressional district, a borough that includes much of Brooklyn and part of Queens. Rep. Jeffries is serving his fifth term in the United States Congress and serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Budget Committee.

And in November 2018, Rep. Jefferies was elected by his peers to chair the House Democratic Party caucus. In that capacity, he became the fifth highest ranking leader in the Democratic Party. He is also the former chair of the Disciplinary Committee of the Democratic Congress and previously co-chair of the Democratic Committee on Communications and Policy.

In Congress, Jeffries has championed social and economic justice, helped people recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, reformed the criminal justice system, improved the economy for ordinary Americans, and protected healthcare from right-wing attacks.

In 2020, Jefferies was one of seven Democratic administrators in the first impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

And since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, Rep. Jefferies has been instrumental in House Democrats’ efforts to get people interested in politics by creating better-paying jobs and fighting for safer communities.

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Hakeem Jeffries and Nancy Pelosi debate in front of the Capitol

In the past two years, Democrats have passed the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, the Safer Communities Act, the Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Jeffries has excellent media skills and the ability to get the Democratic Party’s message out to the public.

However, he may face some opposition from the most vocal left in the House of Representatives, who label him a centrist.

He responded to them in a statement to The Atlantic, saying: “I am a progressive black Democrat interested in addressing racial, social and economic injustices with great urgency.

Jeffries once paid tribute to rapper The Notorious BIG, who was born Christopher Wallace in Jeffreys and shot dead in Los Angeles.

In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of The Notorious Big’s death, the congressman said the hip-hop artist was “the classic embodiment of the American dream” and sang some lyrics from his 1994 song Juicy.

Hakeem Jeffries is married to Kensandra Jeffries and they have two sons, Joshua and Jeremiah.


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