House Democrats have unanimously elected Hakeem Jeffries of New York to lead the caucus, making him the first African American to head a political party in Congress. Jeffries, who is 52, will succeed Nancy Pelosi who led House Democrats for two decades. Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the party could have benefited if the election to lead the party was contested, saying, “This is the most significant generational change that we have seen in House Democrats in several decades. I personally believe that we would benefit from a debate on what that means.” While Jeffries is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he has been at odds with some progressives in the House. In 2016, he backed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Last year he told The Atlantic, “There will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.” On Wednesday, Democrats also elected Katherine Clark of Massachusetts to serve as whip and Pete Aguilar of California to serve as chair of the party caucus.
Meanwhile, House Democrats have finally obtained Donald Trump’s tax returns, ending a multiyear court battle. The Treasury Department released them to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.