House Democratic Caucus

Last updated

House Democratic Caucus
Part of United States House of Representatives
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA)
Floor Leader Steny Hoyer (MD)
Floor Whip Jim Clyburn (SC)
Chair Hakeem Jeffries (NY)
Ideology Centrism
Conservatism
Modern liberalism
Progressivism
Political position Center to center-left
Affiliation Democratic Party
Colors  Blue
Seats
221 / 435
Website
https://www.dems.gov

The House Democratic Caucus is a congressional caucus composed of all Democratic Representatives in the United States House of Representatives and is responsible for nominating and electing the Democratic Party leadership in the chamber. In its roles as a party conference, the caucus writes and enforces rules of conduct and discipline for its members, approves committee assignments, and serves as the primary forum for development of party policy and legislative priorities. It hosts weekly meetings for these purposes and to communicate the party's message to members. The caucus has a Caucus Chairman and Caucus Vice-Chair (formerly called the Secretary).

Contents

For the 117th Congress, Hakeem Jeffries was re-elected as the Caucus Chairman, and Pete Aguilar was chosen as the Caucus Vice Chair to succeed Katherine Clark, who became the Assistant Speaker.

Current hierarchy

Effective with the start of the 117th Congress, the conference leadership is as follows:

Leadership history

The House Democratic Caucus, through its institutional antecedent, the Democratic-Republican caucus, was established on April 2, 1796, to stop a treaty with Great Britain which unfairly treated American sailors. For many years, through 1820, it nominated presidential candidates (before the era of national nominating conventions).

Since 2003, the House Democratic Leader has been Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California (the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history). [1] She has served twice as Speaker, from 2007 - 2011 and from 2019 to present.

At the Organizational Meeting on November 18, 2008, of the Democratic Caucus for the 111th Congress, Representative John B. Larson (D-Connecticut) was elected Caucus Chairman by acclamation. The election was presided over by the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Caucus for the 110th Congress, former Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois). Rep. Larson officially assumed the position of chairman on the first day of the 111th Congress, January 3, 2009.

After his election as chairman at the Organizational Meeting on November 18, Chairman Larson presided over the election of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-California), who defeated Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio by a vote count of 175 to 67. Rep. Becerra likewise assumed his vice-chairmanship on January 3.

List of Caucus Chairmen

OfficeholderStateCongressTerm
James Thompson Pennsylvania 31st1849–1851
N/A [2] 32nd1851–1853
Edson B. Olds Ohio 33rd1853–1855
George Washington Jones Tennessee 34th1855–1857
N/A [3] 35th1857–1859
George S. Houston Alabama 36th1859–1861
N/A [4] 37th–40th1861–1869
William E. Niblack,
Samuel J. Randall [5]
Indiana,
Pennsylvania
41st1869–1871
N/A [6] 42nd1871–1873
William E. Niblack Indiana 43rd1873–1875
Lucius Q.C. Lamar Mississippi 44th1875–1877
Hiester Clymer Pennsylvania 45th1877–1879
John F. House Tennessee 46th1879–1881
N/A [7] 47th1881–1883
George W. Geddes Ohio 48th1883–1885
J. Randolph Tucker Virginia 49th1885–1887
Samuel S. Cox [8] New York 50th1887–1889
William S. Holman Indiana 51st–53rd1889–1895
David B. Culberson Texas 54th1895–1897
James D. Richardson Tennessee 55th1897–1899
James Hay Virginia 56th–58th1899–1905
Robert L. Henry Texas 59th1905–1907
Henry D. Clayton [9] Alabama 60th–61st1907–1911
Albert S. Burleson Texas 62nd1911–1913
A. Mitchell Palmer Pennsylvania 63rd1913–1915
Edward W. Saunders Virginia 64th–65th1915–1919
Arthur G. DeWalt Pennsylvania 66th1919–1921
Sam Rayburn Texas 67th1921–1923
Henry T. Rainey Illinois 68th1923–1925
Charles D. Carter Oklahoma 69th1925–1927
Arthur H. Greenwood Indiana 70th1927–1929
David H. Kincheloe Kentucky 71st1929–1930 [10]
William W. Arnold Illinois 72nd1931–1933
Clarence F. Lea California 73rd1933–1935
Edward T. Taylor Colorado 74th1935–1937
Robert L. Doughton North Carolina 75th1937–1939
John W. McCormack Massachusetts 76th1939–1940 [11]
Richard M. Duncan Missouri 77th1941–1943
Harry R. Sheppard California 78th1943–1945
Jere Cooper Tennessee 79th1945–1947
Aime J. Forand Rhode Island 80th1947–1949
Francis E. Walter Pennsylvania 81st1949–1951
Jere Cooper Tennessee 82nd1951–1953
Wilbur D. Mills Arkansas 83rd1953–1955
John J. Rooney New York 84th1955–1957
Melvin Price Illinois 85th–86th1957–1961
Francis E. Walter [12] Pennsylvania 87th–88th1961–1963
Albert Thomas Texas 88th1964–1965
Eugene Keogh New York 89th1965–1967
Dan Rostenkowski Illinois 90th–91st1967–1971
Olin Teague Texas 92nd–93rd1971–1975
Phillip Burton California 94th1976–1977
Thomas S. Foley Washington 95th–96th1977–1981
Gillis W. Long Louisiana 97th–98th1981–1985
Richard A. Gephardt Missouri 99th–100th1985–1989
William H. Gray III Pennsylvania 101st1989
Steny H. Hoyer Maryland 101st–103rd1989–1995 [13]
Vic Fazio California 104th–105th1995–1999
Martin Frost Texas 106th–107th1999–2003
Bob Menendez New Jersey 108th–109th2003–2006 [14]
James Clyburn South Carolina 109th2006–2007
Rahm Emanuel Illinois 110th2007–2009
John B. Larson Connecticut 111th–112th2009–2013
Xavier Becerra California 113th–114th2013–2017
Joe Crowley New York 115th2017–2019
Hakeem Jeffries New York 116th-117th2019–present [15]

This list may be incomplete.

List of Vice-Chairs

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References

  1. "Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi". Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  2. No clear records remain for this Congress.
  3. No clear records remain for this Congress.
  4. No clear records remain for these Congresses.
  5. Caucus records show Representative Niblack and Representative Randall as both having served as chairman during the Congress, but no dates of service were specified.
  6. Representative Fernando Wood of New York nominated the Democratic leadership slate in the House, but there is no other evidence to show he was elected caucus chairman.
  7. Available data show that Representative John F. House nominated Samuel J. Randall as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, the traditional role of the caucus chairman. Later data show W.S. Rosecrans issuing the next call for a Democratic Caucus meeting, but there is no evidence to suggest that Rosecrans was actually elected caucus chairman.
  8. Former Parliamentarian Clarence Cannon's notes state "Cox died during this Congress and [Representative James B.] McCreary evidently succeeded or acted for him." However, Representative Cox died on September 10, 1889, six months after the sine die adjournment of the 50th Congress and the convening of the 51st Congress.
  9. Caucus records are contradictory for this period. They show the election of Representative James Hay as chairman on January 19, 1911, but do not mention a resignation by incumbent chairman Clayton, nor do they specify that Hay was elected chairman for the new Congress. Later, they show the election of Representative Albert S. Burleson on April 11, 1911.
  10. Resigned from the House, October 5, 1930; there is no record of an election to fill the vacancy as caucus chair.
  11. Resigned following election as majority (floor) leader, September 16, 1940; records do not indicate that a successor was chosen during the remainder of the Congress.
  12. Died in office, May 31, 1963. Caucus chairman post vacant until January 21, 1964.
  13. Representative Hoyer was elected Caucus Chairman on June 21, 1989, following the June 14, 1989, election of Representative William (Bill) H. Gray III as Majority Whip.
  14. On January 16, 2006, Representative Menendez resigned from the House after he was appointed to the Senate.
  15. "Hakeem Jeffries defeats Barbara Lee in battle for Dem Caucus chair". Politico. November 28, 2018.
  16. "Center for American Women and Politics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  17. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

See also