Friday, February 3, 2023
HomeHeadlineFirst Black House minority leader: Hakeem Jeffries makes history

First Black House minority leader: Hakeem Jeffries makes history

Newsman: House Democrats elected New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to lead their party in the next Congress, succeeding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jeffries will make history as the first Black lawmaker to lead a major party in Congress.

On Tuesday night, before Jeffries’ election, Pelosi was unanimously given the honorific title of “Speaker Emerita,” after a historic leadership run as the first female speaker of the House. 

In a closed-door meeting, Jeffries was voted in by acclamation (meaning no roll call vote) alongside Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark as party whip, and California Rep. Pete Aguilar, who was elected to replace Jeffries as chair of the House Democratic Caucus. The new leadership trio ran unopposed.

But Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a progressive and part of the “squad” of liberal lawmakers, said she has been heartened by the way Jeffries and his team are reaching out, even though they face no challengers.

“There’s a genuine sense that he wants to develop relationships and working partnerships with many of us,” she said.

“Hakeem Jeffries’ elevation as House Democratic leader is a turning point in the history of the United States Congress,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. 

“It’s a solemn responsibility that we are all inheriting,” Jeffries told reporters on the eve of the party meeting. “And the best thing that we can do as a result of the seriousness and solemnity of the moment leans in hard and do the best damn job that we can for the people.”

“Today, with immense pride, I stood in front of the House Democratic Caucus as a candidate for Democratic Leader, and I am eternally grateful for the trust my colleagues place din me with their votes,” Jeffries said in a statement following his election.

Jeffries, 52, who has served in the House since 2013 and is currently chair of the House Democratic Caucus, marks a generational change in the party after two decades of leadership under Pelosi, who announced her retirement from the post in November.

COVID-19 relief fraud: About 2 dozen NYC, State employees arrested in crackdown

Newsman:  About  two dozen New York City and State employees were arrested Wednesday in a crackdown on COVID-19 relief fraud.

Prosecutors say employees from the MTA, the NYPD and other agencies were charged with wire fraud for defrauding the federal Paycheck Protection Program, or “PPP”. The accused workers were employed by a range of agencies, from the Department of Education to the Administration for Children’s Services.

These workers stole millions of dollars from the federal government that was set aside for those in need, officials said. The mainly small dollar fraud cumulatively amounted to millions of misappropriated dollars.

Criminal complaints name 13 defendants so far, but  sources told media , there will be a half dozen more.

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