tv House Democratic Leadership Elections Preview CSPAN November 28, 2018 12:18pm-12:33pm EST
mr. crowley: i want to congratulate my colleague, hakeem jeffries, on being elected the chair of the house democratic caucus for the 116th congress. no matter what else happens throughout the day, i know that the country's in great hands. the caucus is in great hands with hakeem. he's a wonderful gentleman from new york. one of the quickest wits in the house today. and someone i know will do democrats proud. a wonderful, tremendous future ahead of him. so congratulate him. i also want to congratulate
barbara lee for having run such a wonderful campaign as well. it was a good race and i think the love for both was expressed in this vote. and i congratulate them both. especially hakeem jeffries on his big win today. thank you all. thanks for being so good to me these past five months. i appreciate it. >> congressman joe crowley representing bronx and queens and his neighbor is hakeem jeffries, now coming to the microphone. mr. jeffries: good afternoon, everyone. let me just first thank barbara lee again for her tremendous service to this nation, for all that she is, all that she does, all that she represents. from the very beginning, through the very end, this was a friendly contest of ideas. and now that the race is over, i look forward to working closely with her on behalf of all of the people in the united
states of america. i'm thankful to my colleagues who listened and thought about and discussed and took seriously this caucus chair race. those who supported me and those who supported barbara. we have an opportunity now to come together, to move forward, to fight for the people in the united states of america. not for the wealthy and the well-off and the well-connected. that's what the other side does. house democrats, we're going to fight for the people. we're going to work hard to lower health care costs. protect people with pre-existing conditions. increase pay for everyday americans. work on a real infrastructure plan. clean up corruption in washington, d.c. there are several other leadership elections that will take place over the next few days. and once that's concluded, we
all will be in a position to come together and focus on the business of the american people. let me also just thank joe crowley, my friend, my mentor, i stand on his shoulders. he served this congress in a phenomenal way for 20 years. served the city of new york, served communities in queens and the bronx. and we know that while this chapter closes for joe crowley, there will be other chapters that open and he'll continue to contribute in a mightful way to the united states of america. with that, i think i can take a few questions. reporter: mr. jeffries, you were calling for unity, but there's still members of your caucus who want to stop nancy pelosi from becoming speaker. how -- [inaudible] -- for your party to show unity if the same members try to prevent her from getting the speakership on the floor of the house in january?
mr. jeffries: every member has an opportunity to do what they feel is best on behalf of the communities that they represent. the first order of business when we reconvene at 1:00 p.m. will be to take a vote on our speaker designee. as of the moment, nancy pelosi is the only candidate who has submitted her name and we'll see what happens when the meeting reconvenes, if someone emerges. but again, these are all contests of ideas. working through the process of preparing to transition from where we are to the house majority. once we do that, we'll all come together. [inaudible] reporter: a number of freshmen members have ambitions to be on powerful committees. it's not usually the case that freshmen get those kinds of seats. what is your view on how the committee seats should be allocated? mr. jeffries: that's a discussion we're going to have as a caucus and we anticipate over the next few days, as we turn away from the leadership elections, to the
organizational rules for the next congress, that we'll work through those discussions. reporter: -- [inaudible] -- mr. jeffries: i have to preside over those deliberations so i'm not going to state an opinion right now. reporter: could you please -- can you respond to that? mr. jeffries: again, i think that it was a friendly contest of ideas. and the members of the house democratic caucus work their will. i look forward to all of us coming together and moving forward on behalf of the american people. reporter: nancy pelosi said she was trying to campaign to be a transitional figure. what does transitional mean to you? one year, two years? time frame for a new generation? mr. jeffries: the only determination that can be made in that regard is the determination that needs to be made by leader pelosi. i think she has correctly said, if she's the next speaker, that she is not going to lame duck herself. particularly because we're
dealing with the trump administration, we're dealing with mitch mcconnell and the boys in the senate, and we're dealing with some of trump's friendly co-conspirators in the house of representatives. why in the world would she or anyone lame duck themselves as we're approaching some tough negotiations? reporter: a lot of your colleagues say that -- be udible] -- you could speaker one day, is that something you aspire to? mr. jeffries: not at all. this was an incredibly close race. it's a heavy burden now in terms of serving as the chair of the house democratic caucus. as of 1:00 p.m., i have to preside over all of these election. it's like the shortest transition in american history. and so i'm focused right now on that job and focused on making sure that we bring the caucus together and that we can move forward on behalf of the people of this great country. reporter: what does it mean to have two c.d.c. members sitting
at the -- c.b.c. members sitting at the table for the first time ever? mr. jeffries: i think i stand on the shoulders of people like jim clyburn and john lewis and emanuel cleaver and maxine waters and charlie rangel and shirley chisholm. i'm proud to represent a district that was once represented in brooklyn by shirley chisholm. there's a great legacy of the congressional black caucus. this is not the first time that two congressional black caucus members have run for a leadership position. it will be the first time that you will have two african-americans within the top five in the united states of america. i'm sure it's a proud moment for our communities. but i'm focused on standing up for everyone. white, black, latino, asian, native american, every single american deserves us here in the united states congress to work, democrats and republicans, on their behalf, to make their life better. one more question. reporter: you, i understand,
get to make the call about whether to delay the -- [inaudible] -- election. do you have specifics on that? mr. jeffries: i'll be having the conversation with leader pelosi, with steny hoyer, with jim clyburn, informally with other members of the house democratic caucus. and then i'll sit down with the three candidates who are here and then i'll also have a conversation with sean patrick maloney. get everyone's input in terms of the candidate. hear what the members of the house democratic caucus have to say, and then we'll proceed from there. thank you, everyone. reporter: thank you reporter: thank you. >> another new yorker, as democratic caucus chair, that is hakeem jeffries, three-term congressman, representing brooklyn and queens, elected by his peers. a vote of 123-113 over barbara lee of california. as you heard from congressman jeffries, he laid out the schedule. 1:00 eastern they'll be back. he'll be chairing that meeting as they move next to the
speaker designate election that's expected to be won by democratic leader nancy pelosi. again, coming back at 1:00 eastern. she left ahead of congressman jeffries' comments a short while ago. and i'll look at that as she leaves the building. her husband, paul pelosi, also at the meetings today, with nancy pelosi. laura boehner lopez, who covers congress for the examiner, let's get some details on the election that just happened. hakeem jeffries, the caucus chair for the 116th congress, for house democrats. a reporter covering all of this. joining us by phone from his osition there on capitol hill. tell us about hakeem jeffries.
what's been some of his notable legislation or efforts on the hill? reporter: well, hakeem jeffries is -- [inaudible] -- democratic caucus. i think that's really the right way to view this race between jeffries and barbara lee. both are progressive members. they have similar voting records. they're both key members of the congressional black caucus. the biggest difference is their age. barbara lee is in her 70's. i believe she's 72. hakeem jeffries is 48. and at a time when, you know, the congress really has been clamoring for generational change in their leadership, it was clear they did not want to vote for another. they already have three in the top echelons of leadership with nancy pelosi, steny hoyer and james clyburn. so i think because this vote
was so close, there are a number of factors involved. in fact, barbara lee said, ageism certainly was a factor in this race. and a number of alights saying the same thing -- allies saying the same thing. including jackie speier. so that's going to be a discussion i think in the debate that's going to be seen going forward. was ageism involved in the outcome of this race? was sexism involved? these are some of the things we're hearing from barbara lee's camp. host: what about the relationship between hakeem jeffries and leader pelosi? and barbara lee and leader pelosi? is she -- is leader pelosi better off having hakeem jeffries chair the caucus? reporter: nancy pelosi is extremely close with both members. barbara lee and hakeem jeffries. that's why you did not see her tip the balance of this election. she stayed out of this race. she did not endorse anybody.
both have progressive values. both are considered allies of nancy pelosi. so i think having hakeem jeffries there probably will serve her well. because it will tamp down some of the frustration from these younger members of having not a whole lot of young people at the leadership table. it puts somebody from this new generation at the leadership table, in a pretty prominent spot. the chairman attends all of the leadership meetings and is the number five leadership position, somebody who basically governs the entire democratic caucus and runs the meetings and will be running future leadership elections later today. so i think it is a sign that things are slowly changing. there is some generational change afoot at the leadership table. host: we're going to let you go there. breaking up a little bit on the phone. let you get some lunch ahead of
the meetings resuming at 1:00 eastern. scott wong with "the hill." senior staff writer covering leadership. follow his reporting on twitter this afternoon. thanks so much. talk to you later. reporter: thank you. host: again, hakeem jeffries, congressman from new york, three-term congressman, elected by the democratic caucus as the chair of that caucus for the 116th congress. but his job begins this afternoon, within a half an hour, as they resume deliberations and take up the speaker designee nomination and that is likely to be the likely outcome is nancy pelosi winning that. we'll have coverage of that as results are available and more once they resume their discussions this afternoon. all of the other leadership positions to be elected as well. we'll stay on top of that. with the house returning this afternoon, later at 4:30 eastern. we'll have live coverage of that too. we have covered a number of events through the years with nancy pelosi obviously. goba