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DeGette dropped from chief deputy whip spot

Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGette'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research 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 LewisUrgency mounts for new voting rights bill Reporter's essay: Capitol attack was a community invasion, not just an insurrection Georgia House to consider replacing Confederate statue with statue of John Lewis MORE (Ga.) and Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyFreshman GOP lawmaker apologizes for Hitler quote Newly sworn-in Republican lawmaker condemned by Holocaust Museum after Hitler quote 150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal MORE (Ill.) — and eight additional chief deputy whips: Reps. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzHouse Democrats unveil resolution to censure Rep. Mo Brooks over Capitol riots Democrats poised to impeach Trump again House Democrats pick DeLauro to lead Appropriations panel MORE (Fla.), G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldBickering Democrats return with divisions Congress must protect kidney disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic The time for HELP is now: Senate should pass bill to expedite recovery following natural disasters MORE (N.C.), Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary MORE (Vt.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Lobbying world Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (Ala.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeHouse Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death MORE (Texas), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Biden's Pentagon pick puts Democrats in a bind CDC studies impact of 'forever chemical' exposure on COVID-19 antibodies MORE (Mich.), Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarAOC v. Pelosi: Round 12? Maloney to lead Democrats' campaign arm House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress 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 HoyerBoebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Pelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate MORE (D-Md.).

Clyburn also tapped Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Pelosi to seat Iowa Republican as Democratic challenger contests election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 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 CastroSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Lawmaker to unveil bill ensuring nothing — 'no airport, no highway, no school' — is named after Trump 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 PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices 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.