ABOVE PHOTO: 113th Congress’ Democratic House Commitee Leadership
(Courtesy Photo / www.democraticleader.gov)
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspapers
By Zenitha Prince
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus will be serving in key leadership positions in the 113th Congress, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Dec. 5. The news comes in stark contrast to the announced Republican leadership appointments in which neither women nor minorities played substantial roles.
“About half of our [ranking members] are women or minorities. And that diversity is a reflection of America, and a recognition of the extraordinary talent that they bring to the Congress,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a press conference Dec. 5. “Our Democratic Caucus in general, and our ranking members in particular, are a portrait of diversity, bold leadership, and a firm commitment to America’s middle class. The first Caucus where the majority are women, minorities, etc.”
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) retained his role as assistant Democratic leader, the third most powerful position among Capitol Hill Democrats. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.),remains ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) remains the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) will be ranking member of Homeland Security and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) is the ranking member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
“I am proud that CBC Members will continue to advocate for the interests of their constituents, African Americans and vulnerable communities as they serve in congressional leadership positions during the 113th Congress,” said CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) in a statement.
“Their elections and appointments to these roles are a testament to the unique perspectives and solid leadership qualities they bring to the table,” he added.
The CBC chairman offered special congratulations to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the newly elected ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.
“For more than two decades, Congresswoman Waters has been committed to policies that protect working families while keeping us on the path to economic recovery and she will diligently work to ensure the integrity of our financial system through financial reform,” Cleaver said.
Waters said she was humbled to be chosen for such an auspicious position by her colleagues.
“I am grateful for the opportunity over the next Congress to work on the key issues facing our financial system,” she said in a statement. “Housing finance reform, in particular, will be crucial to ensuring the long-term success and stability of our economy. I believe we need a financial system that facilitates economic opportunity and wealth creation for all, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues towards that goal.”
Other CBC members holding leadership roles in the House Democratic Caucus include: Reps. John Lewis, (D-Ga.), senior chief deputy whip; G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), chief deputy whip and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Organization, Study and Review chair.
The others serve in various capacities on the Steering and Policy Committee, including Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Region 2 representative; Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Region 4 representative; Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Region 7 representative; Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) , Region 11 representative; and Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) serve as appointed members.