Prospect Heights

Democrats name Jeffries to House leadership team

December 9, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hakeem Jeffries says Democrats should work harder at getting their economic message out to Americans. Photo courtesy of Jeffries’ office
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In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential race, Democrats in the House of Representatives are busy regrouping and developing strategies for moving their party forward in the Trump Era. In one of their first moves, Democrats voted to make U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries a member of their leadership team.

Jeffries (D-parts of Brooklyn, Queens), who received 126 votes from his House peers, has been chosen to serve as co-chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC). In that role, he will help the party craft its message to the public. U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) and Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) were also elected to co-chair the DPCC. 

Jeffries immediately called on his party to do a better job of getting its economic message out.

“For too many hardworking families, the American Dream is increasingly out of reach. Wage stagnation, underemployment, the exploding cost of a college education and the erosion of pensions have left many without hope. House Democrats have the best game plan to address the economic pain felt by hardworking Americans. It’s now time for us to execute it,” he said.

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During the previous legislative session, Jeffries served as a member of the Judiciary Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee. He was also the whip of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jeffries represents the Eighth Congressional District, a seat that includes parts of several neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin and Coney Island, as well as South Ozone Park and Howard Beach in Queens.

He first won the seat in 2012.

In the 2016 presidential campaign, he was a strong Clinton supporter.

A few days before the Nov. 8 election, Jeffries called for a congressional investigation into FBI Director James Comey over his controversial move to send a letter to congressional leaders on Oct. 28 informing them of the agency’s plans to review newly discovered emails that might pertain to Clinton’s email controversy.

Comey’s move was unprecedented and should be scrutinized by the House, according to Jeffries.

“It was unprecedented for the FBI director to come parachuting into the presidential campaign and dropping a bomb on Hillary Clinton,” Jeffries told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“The director owes the American people an explanation,” said Jeffries. “He should come before the House Judiciary Committee to explain himself.”

Republican Donald Trump, who won the presidential race a few days later, seized upon the Comey October bombshell as proof that voters shouldn’t trust Clinton.

“The democratic process has been hurt” by Comey’s actions, Jeffries told the Eagle.


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