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Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Incoming House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries says there's 'a real risk' that the new GOP majority in the chamber will be 'hijacked by the extremists'

Incoming House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries says there's 'a real risk' that the new GOP majority in the chamber will be 'hijacked by the extremists'

"They have not articulated a vision for addressing the economic concerns of the American people," Jeffries said of House Republicans to CNN.
Incoming House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries in an interview published on Sunday said Republicans in the lower chamber have yet to lay out their plans for tackling the economic concerns of Americans, contending that the GOP is being "hijacked by the extremists" within the party whom he feels have become a larger slice of their caucus.

During the interview with CNN, the New York lawmaker — who will succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California as the leader of the House Democratic caucus in January 2023 — said that the incoming GOP majority so far has not presented a clear governing agenda.

"It's incredible to me that even at this point in time, as they're on their way temporarily into the majority, they have not articulated a vision for addressing the economic concerns of the American people," Jeffries told the news outlet.

"It's because there's a real risk that the incoming Republican majority is being hijacked by the extremists who have grown in ranks," he added.

Jeffries — who is already planning ways to lead Democrats back to a majority in 2024 — has been a forceful GOP critic as the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, where he has sought to shape and convey the party's message. He is part of a new generation of House Democratic leaders alongside Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California who will become minority whip and caucus chair in January, respectively.

The congressman has railed against controversial GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has drawn sharp criticism during her first term in office for comparing mask-wearing to the Holocaust, speaking at a conference featuring a noted white supremacist, and sharing misinformation about the coronavirus on Facebook, along with the harassment of gun-control activist David Hogg, among other actions.

In February 2021, the congressman called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to strip Greene of her committee assignments due to her promotion of political violence and conspiracy theories on social media, but GOP leadership balked at the request. Democrats eventually took the matter to the House floor, where Greene was removed from her committees in a bipartisan vote. (She lost her seats on the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee.)

But McCarthy — who is poised to become speaker if he can quash GOP dissent among some of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus members — has long said that he would restore Greene's committee assignments in a GOP-controlled House. And the Republican leader indicated last year he might even give the congresswoman "better" committee assignments.

When asked during the CNN interview what he thought about McCarthy, Jeffries didn't have much to say about his colleague.

"We serve in Congress together," he replied.
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