tv Rep. Jeffries on Caucus Chair Victory CSPAN November 28, 2018 1:06pm-1:26pm EST
york, who represents brooklyn and queens, he was elected to the post for the 116th, beating barbara lee by a vote of 123 to 1 136789 we'll hear first from the outgoing chair, joe crowley, and then from hakim jefferies. mr. crowley: i want to congratulate my colleague, hakim heffries, on being elected the chair -- jefferies, on being elected for the chair of the demic caucus for the 116th congress. i know the country's in great hands, the caucus is in great hands with hakim. he's a wonderful gentleman from new york. one of the quickest wits in the house today. someone i know will do democrats proud as a wonderful, tremendous future ahead of him. i congratulate him. i also want to congratulate barbara lee having run such a wonderful campaign as well. it was a good race. i think the love for both was expressed in this vote. i congratulate them both, especially hakim jefferies on
his big win today. thank you-all. thanks for being so good to me these past five months. appreciate it. mr. jefferies: let me first thank barbara lee again for a a 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, of was a friendly contest ideas. 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 anti-well connected, that's what the other side does. -- and the well connected, that's what the other side does. house democrats will fight for the people, work hard to lower health care cost, 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 election that is will take place over the next few days. once that's concluded, we all will be in a position to come together and foe can cuss on the business of the american people. -- focus on the business of the american people. let me also thank joe crowley, my friend, 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 mightiful way to the united states of america. with that, i can can take a few questions. reporter: calling for unity, but there are still members of your caucus who want to prevent pelosi from becoming speaker. how problematic would be for your party to show unity if the same members prevent her from getting the speakership on the floor of the house in january? mr. jefferies: every member has the opportunity to do what they feel is best on behalf of the communities 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're to the house majority. once we do that, we'll all come ogether. reporter: a number of freshmen members who have ambitions to be on pretty powerful committees, it's not usually the case for freshmen to get into those seats. what is your view on how those eats should be am located? -- allocated? mr. jefferies: as we turn to the organizational rules for the mention congress we'll work through those discussions.
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 --
one day her and her deputies do decide to leave you can could fulfill that void. you could be 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 election 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, ative 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 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. nd 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. >> the incoming democratic caucus chair, hakim jefferies of new york. he won that vote earlier today, beating out barbara lee of california, the vote 123-113. live on c-span watching the exterior of meeting rooms going on. the democrats' meeting to elect their leaders. gathering here at the longworth house office building across the street from the house side of capitol hill. they will proceed on with elections. at the top of the list is the speaker designee. likely to be nancy pelosi. that will come first and then all of the other leadership positions for the 116th congress. we hope to hear from members during or after the votes this
afternoon. we'll have that live for you here on c-span as we're able. one of the members who posted on instagram who beat joe crowly, the outgoing caucus chair, alexandria ocasio-cortez, put this on instagram saying it is a rare and treasured opportunity to cast a vote that makes you want to cry that has a choice that encompasses so many val ureks hopes, aspirations, and honsors a lifetime of work. regardless of the outcome the opportunity to cast a vote is like that, a gift. that's how i felt today voting for barbara lee as democratic caucus chair for the first time ever i cast in the democratic caucus. a post there from alexandria ocasio-cortez. it looks like don beyer of california speaking with reporters. let's listen in and hear what he as to say.
a we're looking at house democrats gathering in the longworth house office building to continue their leadership elections. this morning electing hakim jefferies of new york as the caucus chair. the man who will guide deliberations for the rest of the afternoon. and that will include, we expect, the next vote and speeches, etc., to be for the speaker designee. that will likely be nancy pelosi. you see members gathering. they are not yet set to go, but we'll stay here live on capitol hill and listen in. dutch ruppersberger of maryland speaking with reporters. ee what we can hear.