The meeting started at about 7:20 p.m. in a first floor conference room in the U.S. Capitol and lasted members exited at 10:32 p.m. The result was a split Black Caucus on the question of whether the CBC should support Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader. CBC Chair G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and possible CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA) would not say they would support Pelosi as they departed the meeting.
A month ago Butterfield voiced support for Pelosi but tonight he was vague. At 9 a.m. Wednesday 198 House Democrats will vote on their leadership for the next two years. The vote will take place during one of the lowest times for the Democratic Party in history as Donald Trump prepares to take power.
Over the weekend,The Hill reported that Richmond, a Clyburn protege, sent an e-mail to colleagues expressing dissatisfaction with Pelosi’s proposals to make it easier for newer members to be involved in the decisions of the Democratic Caucus. That move may come back to bite the (possibly) incoming CBC Chair if Pelosi beats challenger Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) on Wednesday. Richmond is challenging Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) to become the next Black Caucus Chair.
Two CBC members are publicly supporting Ryan: Former CBC Chair Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL).
Thirteen members of the Caucus have publicly said they will support Pelosi. Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Karen Bass (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Andre Carson (D-IN), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and new members Don McEachin, Lisa Rochester (D-DE) have already publicly supported Pelosi.