Hakeem Jeffries could end up being the first Black speaker of the House—but not all progressives are happy about his rise.

By Edward-Isaac Dovere

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, probably after next year’s midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce that she’s stepping down. Her top deputies, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, aspire to her job, but they’re also in their early 80s, and most Democrats in and out of Congress are counting on them to step aside too. Of course, they all have stock responses denying that anyone is ever going anywhere.

But the day is coming. For the first time since Barack Obama was a state senator, House Democrats are on the verge of getting new leaders. And pretty much every Democrat in Congress and beyond is confident that Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York will be the next speaker of the House, if Democrats manage to hold on to their majority next year—or the minority leader if they lose it.

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