By Frederick H. Lowe
For the first time ever, two African-Americans will hold two top leadership positions at the same time in Congress, announced U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was elected chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, was elected Majority Whip, the third most-powerful party member. Clyburn also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“When the Congressional Black Caucus was founded in 1971, I know our 13 founding members dreamed of the day we would have more than one member in our ranks competing for top leadership positions in Congress. Today is that day, and I know they are proud,” Richmond said.
The majority whip is a member of the dominant political party whose job is to keep voting members in line with the party’s ideology and goals. The majority whip ensures attendance at all important votes and legislative sessions.
The 78-year-old Clyburn, who represents South Carolina’s 6th District, has been a member of Congress since 1993.
Clyburn also was majority whip from 2007 to 2011,
Jeffries, the new chair of the Democratic Caucus, makes sure party members achieve a consensus and achieve their goals. The 48-year-old Jefferies has been a member of Congress since 2013. He represents the 8th Congressional District, which includes Brooklyn and Queens, New York.