(WASHINGTON) -- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., officially announced Monday evening that he is running for minority whip in the Democratic leadership elections next week, creating an uncomfortable showdown between the House’s second-and third-ranking Democratic leaders for the party’s second-ranking post in the minority for the next session of Congress.
“Over the past several days, I have talked to most of my Democratic colleagues in the House. I have received support from across the breadth of our Caucus to remain in the second-ranking position of our Democratic leadership team. In order to defend and build on our Democratic accomplishments, unify our Caucus, and immediately begin the hard work of winning back the majority, I will be running for Democratic Whip,” Hoyer announced Monday evening.
Hoyer, the second-ranking leader in the Democratic majority, is running against the current third-ranking House Democrat, Majority Whip James Clyburn, D- S.C.
As a result of losing the House majority in the congressional midterm elections last week, Democrats also lost a leadership position. Conventional wisdom among Democratic aides suggested that in the minority each Democrat would simply slide down one slot below their current posts. However, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed last Friday that she is running for House minority leader, Clyburn surprised some in the Democratic caucus by quickly announcing that he was running for minority whip – a move that would essentially jump Hoyer in the House Democratic leadership ranks.
Hoyer and Clyburn each worked throughout the weekend to drum up support for the post, while it is believed that the Speaker is quietly working behind the scenes to broker a deal to keep both members in the leadership. An aide from the Speaker’s office told ABC News that Speaker Pelosi is unlikely to formally endorse either member because "she's focused on her race" for minority leader.
While announcing he would run for minority whip Monday evening, Hoyer ticked off a number of issues he believes Democrats should focus on while they are in the minority next Congress.
“Together, Democrats must work to create jobs and rebuild American manufacturing, preserve our fiscal future, and hold Republicans accountable for any policies that favor the special interests over middle-class Americans,” Hoyer said in a statement Monday evening. “As Democratic Whip, I will work with and listen to all of our Caucus’s Members in our shared effort to achieve those goals.”
House Democrats will most likely hold their leadership elections next Wednesday, Nov. 17, during new member orientation week and as lawmakers return to Washington to begin a lame-duck session of Congress.
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