As fallout from the midterm elections continues to emerge, news came on Thursday that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will stay in Congress for the coming term but is quitting his formal role as one of the party's top leaders, as The Hill reports.
Explaining the move in a letter to Democrat colleagues, Hoyer declared pride in the work he has performed atop the party but stated that "now is the time for a new generation of leaders."
Hoyer also made clear his intention to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, a role he held prior to beginning his service as a party leader back in 2003, according to Breitbart.
Suggesting that he plans to address issues including healthcare, education, and an expansion of domestic manufacturing capacity, Hoyer added, "I also look forward to continuing my focus on voting rights, civil rights, and human rights, which I have made priorities throughout my public life."
Hoyer's news came closely on the heels of an announcement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicating that she, too, would be stepping aside from her leadership role.
With both Pelosi and Hoyer now out of the running for leadership roles, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, currently serving as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is now seen as the former's likely heir apparent to lead the party into the new, Republican-controlled chamber.
Jeffries was almost immediately the recipient of Hoyer's endorsement to succeed Pelosi, with the latter declaring, "I look forward to serving as a resource to him, to the rest of our Democratic leadership team, and to our entire Caucus in whatever capacity I can best be of assistance as we move forward together to address the nation's challenges."
As NBC News reports, Jeffries made his bid for the party's top leadership spot official on Friday morning, sending a letter to Democrat colleagues announcing his intentions and expressing gratitude for lessons learned from "legendary figures like our iconic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, our resolute Leader Steny Hoyer and our historic Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, who has mentored and nurtured my leadership development from the moment I arrived in Congress."
"As we prepare to temporarily relinquish the gavels, House Democrats will be locked in a fierce governmental, political and messaging struggle. In this regard, our Caucus must unify with purpose, communicate with discipline, legislate with precision and partner with the Biden Administration to vigorously address the continuing challenges impacting our constituents," Jeffries added.
At 52 years of age, Jeffries brings generational change to the ranks of Democrat Party leadership at the same time that octogenarian stalwarts such as Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn indicate the need for "new blood," as NBC News noted.
If Jeffries ascends, as expected, to the role soon to be vacated by Pelosi, conventional wisdom suggests that Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) will seek the job of Democratic Whip and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) will pursue the role of Democratic Caucus Chair, according to NBC News.
Though Republicans are set to take control of the lower chamber for the next two years, their majority will be significantly narrower than many in the party had hoped, and with Democrats still in charge of the Senate, the GOP's ability to further conservative priorities may be noticeably curtailed.