House Democrats

Funding Deadline Tests GOP Strategy
Republicans hoped for more under Trump, but still need Democrats’ help

From left, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan meet for a working lunch at the White House on March 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Republicans kicked the fiscal 2017 spending deadline into April last December, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said they’d rather negotiate with incoming GOP President Donald Trump than the outgoing Democratic one.

But now, congressional Republicans are talking about largely ignoring requests from the White House as they negotiate with Democrats over a spending bill to take the government off autopilot for the remaining five months of the fiscal year.

Tim Ryan Supporters Move Up After Criticizing Leadership
Members see few, if any, repercussions from speaking out against Pelosi

Tim Ryan, center, and his backers from his failed bid for minority leader cite few ramifications from criticizing Democratic leadership. Appearing from left are Reps. Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Stephen F. Lynch of Massachusetts, Ryan, and Ruben Gallego of Arizona. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)" data-mce-src="http://author.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/dem_elections017_113016.jpg" height="1598" width="2400"> Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, center, and his backers from his failed bid for minority leader cite few ramifications from criticizing Democratic leadership. Appearing from left are Reps. Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Stephen F. Lynch of Massachusetts, Ryan, and Ruben Gallego of Arizona. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A little more than two months ago, 63 House Democrats voted for a change at the top of their leadership structure. Now, in an unexpected turn of events, some of the most vocal critics of the existing power system are in new leadership positions of their own. 

Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, who challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her post, is now the ranking member of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, a position that gives him oversight of Congress’ internal spending, including money spent on leadership offices and members’ salaries, as well as Capitol Police.

Ryan Still Doesn't Want to Run for President
Speaker says ‘the left’ is trying to delegitimize Trump’s presidency before it starts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan insists he still does not want to run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been asked hundreds, if not thousands, of times if he wants to run for president one day. The answer has not changed. 

“No,” Ryan said in an interview with Charlie Rose scheduled to air on PBS late Thursday. “It’s just not an ambition that I’ve long harbored, or I’ve harbored.” 

And Democrats Said: Let There Be Vice Ranking Members
House caucus rules amended to allow for new leadership posts

Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III was one of the Democrats who came up with the idea of committee vice ranking members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Friday adopted an amendment to their internal caucus rules allowing for the creation of vice ranking members for standing committees. 

The introduction of additional committee leadership posts comes in response to concerns raised following the Democrats’ poor showing in last year’s elections that there were not enough opportunities for younger members to contribute to the caucus at the committee and leadership levels.

DCCC Challenge Not Expected As Members Line Up For Leadership Posts
Maloney to lead review of campaign arm instead of challenge Lujan for chair

Instead of mounting a challenge for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is going to lead a review of the campaign arm and present findings to House Democrats in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will square off Monday in a series of elections for lower-rung leadership positions. But one critical post likely to be uncontested is the chairmanship of the caucus’ campaign arm. 

Lawmakers, including newly elected freshmen who will serve in the 115th Congress, will chose co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, as well as a member who has served five terms or less for an as-yet-unnamed leadership post. 

Himes Elected Chairman of New Democrat Coalition
Polis elected vice chairman, along with DelBene, Kilmer, Sewell

Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes was elected chairman of the New Democrat Coalition on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The New Democrat Coalition on Thursday elected Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes as its chairman for the 115th Congress. 

Himes, 50, beat Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, 41, for the top spot in the moderate caucus. Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, 66, dropped out of the race before the vote, saying he thought it would help diffuse some of the tension arising from a three-way race. 

House Democrats Still Want Leadership Changes After Re-Electing Pelosi
Many members want to see truly elected positions, not appointed and confirmed

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, flanked by Democratic House leaders, speaks to reporters following the House Democrats’ leadership elections on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats decided Wednesday they aren’t ready to change the top rung of their leadership, but many are still hankering for something new after re-electing Nancy Pelosi minority leader for the 115th Congress.

Some of that change is expected to come Thursday as the caucus meets to discuss proposals for amending internal rules that will result in an expanded leadership team — the exact structure of which is up for debate. Other winds of change will likely arise in the coming months and years.

Ep. 31: Why Nancy Pelosi Will Have to Put Out Fires in Her Caucus
The Week Ahead

Show Notes:

Pelosi Has Support of Four-Fifths of Members Needed to Beat Tim Ryan
As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ryan has 12 endorsements to Pelosi’s 80

Nancy Pelosi faces Ohio’s Tim Ryan for the House Democratic leadership position on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had garnered public endorsements from at least 80 Democratic members — four-fifths of the total she needs to hold onto her leadership post.

The Californian, who has been the top Democrat since 2003, is facing a challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who had only 12 public endorsements as of 8:30 p.m. 

Democrats Voting on Pelosi Are Older But Not Long-Tenured
A majority of the incoming caucus is 60 or older but most members have served 4 terms or less

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The House Democrats who will decide this week whether it’s time for younger, less-tenured leadership have served in the chamber an average of close to six full terms, and nearly six in 10 are over the age of 60. 

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has drawn criticism for not fostering leadership opportunities for younger caucus members. The 76-year-old Californian, who has been the chamber’s top Democrat since 2003, is facing a challenge from 43-year-old Tim Ryan, a seven-term congressman from Ohio, who says that after four straight disappointing elections for House Democrats, it’s time for a change at the top.