DeGette dropped from chief deputy whip spot

Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — White House withdraws controversial rule to eliminate drug rebates | Grassley says deal on drug prices moving 'very soon' | Appeals court declines to halt Trump abortion referral ban Overnight Energy: Top EPA official stepping down amid ethics probe | Critics slam EPA for rolling back union protections | Trump officials open door to controversial Alaska mining project Top EPA official stepping down amid ethics probe MORE (D-Colo.) has been dropped as a chief deputy whip — a position she’s held the past 14 years — after briefly challenging Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to become the third-ranking Democrat in the next Congress.

“This was not by her choice,” DeGette spokesman Matt Inzeo said Thursday.

Clyburn’s office declined to comment beyond the statement naming the whip team.

The chief deputy whip spots are chosen at the discretion of the Democratic whip — a position Clyburn held between 2007 and 2011, and will assume again next year when Democrats take over the majority.

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On Thursday, he announced two senior chief deputy whips in the next Congress — Reps. John LewisJohn LewisKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent Democratic lawmaker says officials tried to keep her from migrant girls during facility tour Democratic outrage grows over conditions at border detention centers MORE (Ga.) and Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDemocrats rush to support Pelosi amid fight with Ocasio-Cortez Pelosi says she's done talking about fight with 'Squad' Democrats voice confidence Pentagon bill will survive party squabbling MORE (Ill.) — and eight additional chief deputy whips: Reps. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Epstein charges put Trump Labor secretary back in spotlight Repeat of border aid battle expected with Homeland Security bill MORE (Fla.), G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldNancy Pelosi fends off impeachment wave — for now House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment WHIP LIST: The 83 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry MORE (N.C.), Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchSanders: 'I'm only grumpy most of the time' Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing MORE (Vt.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellHouse Democrats seek to move past rifts with minimum wage bill Democrats rush to support Pelosi amid fight with Ocasio-Cortez New CBO report fuels fight over minimum wage MORE (Ala.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeO'Rourke says he and his wife are descended from slave owners Reparations bill gains traction in the House Senate Democrats wish talk on reparations would go away MORE (Texas), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeTrump threatens veto on defense bill that targets 'forever chemicals' Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts Cracks form in Democratic dam against impeachment MORE (Mich.), Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarDemocratic leaders seek balance amid liberal push to go big on immigration Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck MORE (Calif.) and Henry Cuellar (Texas).

Of those 10 lawmakers, Jackson Lee, Kildee, Aguilar and Cuellar will be new arrivals to the chief deputy whip spot, while the others are already in those positions under the current whip, Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: House Dems voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt House Democrats seek to move past rifts with minimum wage bill Progressive groups slam House Democratic leadership's 'escalating attacks' on progressives MORE (D-Md.).

Clyburn also tapped Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondHarris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support The Hill's Morning Report - Warren cements front-runner status in first Dem debate Democrats crush GOP to win annual baseball game MORE (D-La.), the outgoing chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and a close Clyburn ally, to become assistant to the majority whip — a newly created position.

“In my campaign for Majority Whip, I promised to involve every segment of our Caucus and empower the next generation of leaders as integral parts of the Whip team,” Clyburn said in a statement.

“As we fill out the rest of the Whip team in the coming days and weeks we will seek input from across the Caucus, including many of the Caucus’s younger members and our historic incoming freshman class to ensure their voices are heard,” Clyburn said.

Two sitting chief deputy whips will not be returning to those seats next year: DeGette and Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Cummings: Treatment of young migrants is 'government-sponsored child abuse' 2020 Democrats vow to get tough on lobbyists MORE (Texas).

The absence of DeGette is notable, as she has been in that spot for the past seven Congresses, and it comes following her decision to challenge Clyburn for the whip position. That contest was embroiled in controversy, since Clyburn — the only African-American lawmaker in the top tier of leadership — was also the only senior leader to get a challenge.

DeGette’s move infuriated Clyburn and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), who expressed concerns that their influence in the caucus would be diluted, despite the significant contribution of black voters in shifting control of the House to the Democrats in last month’s midterms.

Richmond last month characterized her challenge as “offensive and insulting.”

DeGette rejected those criticisms, saying she simply wanted to take her long history as a senior member of the whip team to the next level.

“I’ve always loved whipping,” she said at the time. “I’ve been known to whip a dinner party.”

Still, more than a week before the Democrats’ closed-door leadership elections last month, DeGette dropped out of the race, citing the “internal pressure” facing her supporters to keep the leadership team of Reps. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNYT's Friedman repeatedly says 's---hole' in tirade against Trump on CNN GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets 'obviously not racist' On the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer MORE (D-Calif.), Hoyer and Clyburn intact in the 116th Congress.

“We have enough work to do without this internal pressure,” she said.

But the decision did not help her retain her spot on the Democrats’ whip team next year.