leadership races

Confidence Abounds Among Pelosi Supporters and Opponents — But One Side Will Lose
Anti-Pelosi contingent claims they have numbers to block Pelosi from becoming speaker

Nancy Pelosi is confident she will be the next speaker. Her opponents are confident they can block that. Someone is going to lose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big questions surround the contingent of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker: Are they bluffing when they say there are enough members prepared to vote against the California Democrat on the floor? And if they’re not, will that opposition hold until the Jan. 3 vote?

Leaders of the contingent, including Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Filemon Vela of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, have all said they’re confident that when the 116th Congress begins on the third day of January, there will be more than enough Democrats ready to vote against Pelosi on the floor — not “present” or abstaining from voting — to prevent her from claiming the speaker’s gavel.

Why So Few House Republican Leadership Races Are Contested
Five of the seven House GOP leadership positions are solo affairs

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for the House Republican leadership candidate forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Jordan is running for minority leader, one of only two contested leadership elections in the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Wednesday are poised to elect their leadership team for the 116th Congress with little drama. Only the top and bottom slots of their seven elected positions are being contested despite the party losing more than 30 seats and its majority in the midterms.  

At the top, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to easily defeat Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for minority leader.

Cheri Bustos Drops Out of Assistant Leader Race to Run for DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat’s decision avoids face-off with current DCCC chairman Luján

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., is dropping out of the assistant Democratic leader race to run for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos announced Friday that she was dropping out of the race for the next assistant Democratic leader and would instead seek to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

“One of the greatest challenges we face in the next Congress is defending and expanding our majority,” Bustos said.

Luján Jumping in Assistant Democratic Leader Race, Creating 3-Way Contest
Reps. Cheri Bustos and David Cicilline are also running for the No. 4 leadership slot

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., is running for assistant Democratic leader. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced a bid for assistant Democratic leader Wednesday, creating a three-way race for the incoming majority’s No. 4 leadership slot.

The New Mexico Democrat is running against Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island in the caucus’s first contested election for the assistant leader post. 

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they want to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

House Democrats Contemplate Post-Pelosi ‘Bridge’
Tim Ryan considers challenging Pelosi; members discuss idea of bridge speaker

From left, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talk after a news conference in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some House Democrats have begun to talk more openly about the possibility someone other than Nancy Pelosi may be their leader next year — although, for now, she is still the odds-on favorite to continue leading the caucus. 

Leadership jockeying has picked up steam in the wake of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley’s primary loss last month. The New York Democrat had been seen by many as a potential successor to Pelosi one day.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.

Ryan Beefs Up Speaker's Communications Team

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:00 p.m. | One of Paul D. Ryan’s plans for the speakership was to make up for less time spent on the road with more time spent communicating the GOP’s message. In a sign he plans to deliver on that pledge, the Wisconsin Republican announced Monday eight appointments to his communications staff.  

“This speakership is going to be about communicating a conservative vision and bold agenda for the American people, and I’m building a first-rate team to help me do the job,” Ryan said in a statement. Along with Brendan Buck, who was his communications director on Ways and Means and was already announced as chief communications adviser in the speaker’s office, the fresh crop of hires include four other staffers Ryan is bringing over from Ways and Means, three Boehner holdovers, and one former presidential campaign and Senate press aide.  

New Title, but No New Digs for Ryan

Ryan is the new speaker of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:53 a.m. | Newly elected Speaker Paul D. Ryan won't be getting a new home in the District of Columbia, but he is looking into some new carpet for the speaker's office.  

The Wisconsin Republican made the rounds to all five of the Sunday morning political talk shows and informed both CNN's "State of the Union" and NBC's "Meet the Press" that he plans to continue sleeping in his office. "Look, I just work here," Ryan told NBC's Chuck Todd about his sleeping arrangements.