Brooklyn to assert itself in new Democratic House
Nadler poised to take over as Judiciary Committee chair
Brooklyn is going to have a seat at the table when important decisions are made in the incoming Democratic-controlled House, with one lawmaker taking the helm of one of the important committees in Congress and another setting his sights on an influential party post.
In the wake of the Nov. 6 election and the Democratic takeover of the House, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries are likely to see their public profiles increase dramatically.
In January, when the 116th Congress is sworn into office, Nadler (D-parts of Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Manhattan) will become the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, a pivotal position that could put him in direct conflict with President Donald Trump over the Russia-Collusion investigation.
Nadler is currently the committee’s top Democrat.
Jeffries, who is currently co-chairperson of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), which serves as the party’s messaging apparatus, announced on Thursday that he intends to run for House Democratic Caucus Chair.
Nadler, who has served in Congress since 1992, will become one of the most powerful people in Washington when he becomes Judiciary Committee in January.
In a statement he issued after Tuesday’s election, Nadler gave notice that he and his fellow Democrats intend to serve as watchdog over the Trump Administration.
“Americans are tired of watching a Republican Congress fail in its constitutional duty to hold the administration accountable for policies that rip children from the arms of their parents, that allow domestic abusers and white supremacists to get their hands on deadly firearms without a full background check, that allow voters to be intimidated and their voices suppressed, that enable pervasive corruption to influence decision making at the highest levels of government, and that undermine the rule of law and interfere with the independence of our justice system,” Nadler said in his statement.
Jeffries (D-Coney-Island-Canarsie-Crown Heights) sent a letter to House colleagues on Nov. 7 announcing his intention to run for chair of the Democratic Caucus Chair, the fourth most powerful position in the House Democratic leadership.
“We have seized the majority; now we must keep it. There is an unconventional president in the Oval Office who dominates the news cycle with his outrageous claims, name-calling and falsehoods. Undoubtedly, he will try to use the House Democratic Caucus as a foil to explain his shortcomings and inability to lead. Message discipline helped carry us into the majority. To stay in charge, we must act aggressively on a bold legislative agenda and consistently message to the American people what we are doing to improve their quality of life,” Jeffries wrote in his pitch to fellow Democrats.
Jeffries was first elected to congress in 2012.
In his letter to Democrats, he offered hints on his strategies to conduct caucus meetings and move the Democratic agenda forward.
“Our success in the midterm election shows that the American people want change. In the context of a divided government, we must try to shape public sentiment through strong legislative action and meaningful oversight. In doing so, we can create an environment to get good things done and stop bad things from happening. With this in mind, the weekly Caucus meetings should be used as the huddle, where we collectively decide the plays to be executed to advance the ball down the field,” he wrote.