Feb 14, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Jim Clyburn steps down from House Democratic leadership role

Rep. Jim Clyburn, wearing a dark blue suit, blue shirt and glasses, standing in front of American flags.

Rep. Jim Clyburn. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) announced Wednesday he is relinquishing his role as assistant House Democratic leader after just over a year in the job.

Why it matters: Clyburn was the last of the troika led by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to remain in leadership.

What he's saying: Clyburn said in a statement he has informed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and is "confident" Jeffries and the new generation of Democratic leaders "will continue the important work of putting people over politics."

  • The 83-year-old former majority whip said, like Pelosi and Hoyer, he plans to seek reelection to his Charleston-based House seat in November.
  • Jeffries told Axios that Clyburn “will continue to be an important leader for the House Democratic Caucus with or without a formal title.”

The backdrop: After Pelosi and Hoyer stepped down from their respective roles following the 2022 election, Clyburn, the outgoing No. 3 House Democrat, was elected to the assistant leader position.

  • Jeffries was elected as leader, with Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) elected as minority whip and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) elected as Democratic Caucus chair.
  • Clyburn told Axios ahead of the election that he told Jeffries he was "amenable to staying at the leadership table to be of any assistance I could be going forward, but I did not want to be in the top three."

What’s next: Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), the chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, plans to run for assistant leader, according to two Democratic leadership aides.

Go deeper: Lawmakers are ditching Congress at a record pace

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is the House minority leader, not the majority leader.

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