The balance of power in Washington shifts when Republicans formally take control of the House on January 3rd.
But House Republicans start the 118th Congress in a precarious position. Their grip on power is fragile and their meetings are disjointed.
House Republicans are struggling to unite after the minority’s historically weak performance in the midterm elections. Uncertainty hangs over the presidential election as Kevin McCarthy seeks to quell a conservative uprising that could derail his long-held hopes of claiming the chairman’s gavel.
Meanwhile, Democrats will start the next Congress with a new leader after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegates stepped down to pave the way for a new generation. The Trinity does not include white males.
Let’s take a look at the highest-ranking members of the Republican and Democratic leadership in the 118th Congress.
California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Republican nominee Speaker of the House
McCarthy, 57, has spent most of a decade plotting his path to the presidency. Whether he will eventually win the top job remains to be seen.
Elected to Congress in 2006, McCarthy is part of the triumvirate of the self-proclaimed Republican “Young Guns” (Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, neither of whom are currently members of Congress) who rode to power on the Tea Party wave. was a member With the Republican party’s wild success in the 2010 midterm elections, McCarthy leaped to the whip of the House Majority, one of his top leadership positions.
He was considered the next candidate for the 2015 chairmanship, but his bid fell through. McCarthy was eventually elected minority leader in 2018 after Democrats won the House.
Once considered relatively moderate, the California House of Representatives has been steadily moving to the right. He embraced Donald Trump early on and remains one of his most staunch defenders in the Capitol, and when Trump lost in 2020, McCarthy amplified his election lies. McCarthy condemned Trump’s actions after the January 6th Capitol shootings, but quickly backtracked and made amends.
McCarthy is now in the midst of a political battle for the presidency again. He sent a challenge from the far right and won the internal leadership election. But the real test would be in the House of Representatives. He would need the support of nearly every member of the caucus to become chairman.
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, majority of leaders
Scalise, 57, is from Louisiana and was voted #2. Scalise is mentioned as a potential alternative should McCarthy fail in his quest to become a speaker.
In 2017, Scalise was seriously injured when a gunman opened fire during Congressional baseball practice. He spent several weeks in hospital and required intensive rehabilitation. A staunch defender of the Second Amendment, Scalise said his experience only strengthened his support for gun rights.
In the 2008 special election, Scalise moved to Washington, where he quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party. In 2012, he was elected chairman of the influential Republican Study Group, defeating a candidate handpicked by the group’s founders. After that surprise victory, Scalise told reporters on Capitol Hill that his goal was to pull the Republican leader “as far to the right as possible.”
Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer, Majority Whip
In 2020, Republicans made an unexpectedly strong impression in the House as Democrats celebrated Joe Biden’s victory. Emmer served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and was widely praised for her party’s accomplishments.
Just two years later, Emer, who held the same office, faced a counterattack as Republicans won the House by a narrow margin, earning far fewer gains than expected. Following the disappointing results, he faced stiff competition in the bid to become the whip of the majority, although he ultimately won on his second ballot.
A former attorney and father of seven, Emmer, 61, began his career in the Minnesota legislature. He narrowly lost the bid to become governor of Minnesota in one of the closest elections in Minnesota’s history. Four years later, he was first elected to the House of Representatives, the seat vacated by conservative agitator Michele Bachmann.
New York State Rep. Elise Stefanik, Republican conference chair
Few politicians have demonstrated Trump’s dominance over the Republican Party more than the New York Republicans.
Once a moderate conservative, Stefanik has morphed into one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, embraced his election lies, flirted with QAnon conspiracy theories, and called the racist “great Amplified ads that reflected the theme of ‘alternatives’ theory.
Stefanik claimed a third leadership position last year after ousting Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was a vocal critic of President Trump following the Capitol storming. Despite speculation that Stefanik would run for the whipping of the majority if Republicans win the House in the 2022 midterm elections, she chose to maintain her position in her place, tasked with amplifying the party’s message.
When Trump announced his intention to run for the White House again in 2024, Stefanik was one of the few high-profile Republicans to back him.
New York State Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a few leader
Unanimously elected leader of the Democratic Party, Jeffries, 52, will become the first black American in the history of Congress to lead a major party. He will take over from longtime Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. But he began his term in the minority after losing control of the House despite a better-than-expected performance by Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
The Brooklyn-born son of a public sector worker, Jeffries is proud to have grown up in a working-class suburban neighborhood. After law school, he worked as a corporate attorney, representing clients such as Viacom and he, CBS.
His first foray into politics ended in failure. However, he was soon elected to the New York Legislature, where he served for six years before running for Congress in 2012. He won seats based in Brooklyn and Queens, some of which were represented by Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman ever to be elected. to parliament.
His ascension to Democratic leadership was long planned and had the clear endorsement of his predecessor. Now, as a new recruit to the House Democrats, Jeffries has vowed to put together his difficult caucuses with the goal of regaining control of the House within two years. In his remarks after his election, he said he wants to work with Republicans, but he won’t shut up if Republicans continue to embrace extremism.
Massachusetts Congressman Catherine Clarke, a few whip
clark elected by applause will be The highest-ranking woman in House Democratic politics. As the party’s top vote counter, her main job over the next two years will be to oppose Republican-backed bills rather than whip Democrats in favor of bills. It will keep the Democratic Party united.
Clark, 59, began his political career as a member of the local public school board before rising through the Massachusetts legislature. Elected to Congress in her 2013 election, she has been a vocal advocate for women’s reproductive rights and other policies that affect women and children.
Over the years, Clarke and Jeffries formed a partnership that cemented their status as heirs the moment Pelosi and her deputy resigned. He and his colleagues admire her as someone to keep in touch with, a trait that would work well as a whip for the Democratic Party.
Congressman Pete Aguilar, Democrat caucus Chair
By moving up to No. 3, Aguilar, 43, is now the highest-ranking Latino in Congress and the first member of a historic Democratic leadership team to include no white men.
Raised in a working-class family in San Bernardino, Aguilar served as mayor of Redlands, a city in Southern California. He lost his first bid for Congress in 2012, but tried again two years later and won.
Since then, Aguilar has risen steadily in House Democratic politics. He was named to a House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, focusing on Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results. led the high-profile panel’s third hearing.
Known among his colleagues as someone who can forge alliances across factions and factions, Aguilar is now in charge of the Democratic Party’s message.
South Carolina Congressman Jim Cliburn Democrat Assistant leader
Before Jefferies’ elevation, Clyburn was the highest-ranking black man in Congress. Mr Cliburn, 82, has decided to stay on as party leader despite his decline after serving as Democratic whip alongside House Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Stenny his Mr Hoyer. .
He briefly faced a possible young challenger, but was eventually unanimously elected by the caucuses.
Born in South Jim Crow, Cliburn was a civil rights activist before entering politics. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, he quickly became a leading speaker in the caucuses, gaining prominence as president of the Congressional Black caucus before joining the Democratic leadership team. Cliburn, who often works behind the scenes, is known for mediating disputes within caucuses and using his influence to defend black leadership.
Hailed as the king of South Carolina politics, his influence is widely known. Cliburn for helping lead Barack Obama to victory in 2008, endorsing him ahead of state primaries in 2020, and saving Biden’s founder’s presidential campaign. is known.