U.S. House elects leadership for 117th Congress 

Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives held elections for leadership positions in the 117th Congress, which convenes on January 3, 2021. The speaker of the House, who presides over sessions of the chamber and is second in the line of presidential succession, is elected on the first day the new Congress convenes. Other leadership positions are elected in meetings prior to the start of a new Congress.

House Democrats held their leadership elections remotely on November 18. Current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was selected as the Democratic nominee for speaker of the House. She was unopposed. Pelosi was elected speaker of the House on January 3, 2019. She previously served as House speaker from 2007 to 2010 and became House minority leader after Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 elections.  

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was re-elected as majority leader, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) was re-elected as majority whip, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) was re-elected as Democratic Caucus chairman. All three were unopposed. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) defeated Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) 135-92 for the role of assistant speaker, the fourth-ranking position in the House. In the 116th Congress, the position was held by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who was elected to the U.S. Senate.

House Republicans held leadership elections on November 17. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was re-elected as minority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was re-elected as minority whip, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was re-elected as Republican Conference chairman, and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) was re-elected as Republican Policy Committee chairman. All were unopposed. 

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) was re-elected as National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chair. The election for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair will be held the week of November 30. Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) announced they would run for the position after Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said she would not run again.

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Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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