Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteOvernight Health Care: WH says more than one million vaccine doses administered in 24 hours | Texas faces tipping point as COVID-19 spreads | House Democrats press insulin manufacturers for lower prices House members to urge FDA to remove in-person requirement for abortion medication House Democrats press insulin manufacturers for lower prices 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.
On Thursday, he announced two senior chief deputy whips in the next Congress — Reps. John LewisJohn LewisBudowsky: High stakes drama for Biden, Manchin, Sinema Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise Senate Democrats unveil new voting rights bill MORE (Ga.) and Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyAmerican workers need us to get this pandemic under control around the world Democrats repeal prohibition on funding abortions abroad Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards MORE (Ill.) — and eight additional chief deputy whips: Reps. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles Florida Democrat says vaccines, masks are key to small-business recovery DNC members grow frustrated over increasing White House influence MORE (Fla.), G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldHouse Democrats push to introduce John Lewis voting rights bill within weeks Black Caucus presses Democratic leaders to expedite action on voting rights Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE (N.C.), Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchShakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Democrats debate shape of new Jan. 6 probe On the Money: Tech giants face rising pressure from shareholder activists | House Democrats urge IRS to reverse Trump-era rule reducing donor disclosure | Sen. Warren, Jamie Dimon spar over overdraft fees at Senate hearing MORE (Vt.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellThousands march on Washington in voting rights push Activists gear up for voting rights march to mark King anniversary House approves John Lewis voting rights measure MORE (Ala.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeAngelina Jolie spotted in Capitol meeting with senators Elon Musk after Texas Gov. Abbott invokes him: 'I would prefer to stay out of politics' Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (Texas), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeToyota, Honda knock union-made EV incentive in Democrats' spending package Democrats on key panel offer bill on solar tax incentive Overnight Energy: Manchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas review | Biden admin reportedly aims for 40 percent of drivers using EVs by 2030 | Lack of DOD action may have caused 'preventable' PFAS risks MORE (Mich.), Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarWatch live: House Democratic leaders hold press conference Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report 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 HoyerGOP leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court Lobbying world Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Feds target illegal gas practices MORE (D-Md.).
Clyburn also tapped Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Questions on Biden agenda; unemployment benefits to end Sunday shows - Biden domestic agenda, Texas abortion law dominate Biden adviser: 'Full steam ahead' on .5T package despite Manchin warning 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 CastroHarris's delayed trip to Vietnam ratchets up Havana Syndrome fears Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals 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 PelosiDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Democrats suffer blow on drug pricing as 3 moderates buck party 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.