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CBC Reserves Judgment on New Assistant Leader Position

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee said Monday that the group is supporting Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) for the No. 3 Democratic leadership post in the next Congress but wants more information about his duties.

“We fully support our current Whip, Mr. Clyburn, for the No. 3 position, but we are reserving judgment on the entire package until we see what the portfolio entails in terms of responsibilities,” the California Democrat said.

Lee’s comments followed a two-hour CBC meeting, with the discussion focused primarily on Clyburn. “We’re working on it,” Clyburn said, declining to comment further.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a deal Friday for Clyburn to drop out of the race for Minority Whip and instead become Assistant Leader in the 112th Congress.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said she would be “reluctant” to vote in the Democratic leadership election before leaders gave a more complete explanation of what Clyburn’s role would be. The election is scheduled for Wednesday.

“We don’t know what it is,” she said. “We want to make sure there is a substantive weight given to that position, and it’s in the leadership, you know, and it’s not a marginal, ceremonial type of position.”

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