4 ways Karen Bass’s run for mayor will impact Washington
Representative Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) ‘s official announcement on Monday that she is running for mayor shook the race to lead California’s largest city.
But it will also have consequences in Washington, where Bass has represented his Los Angeles district since 2011.
Here are four ways his entry into the mayoral race can impact the nation’s capital:
1. The next Democratic House leader is unlikely to be a black woman
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) agreed at the end of 2018 to step down from her leadership position by the end of next year, which means the caucus could usher in a new group of Democratic leaders for succeed Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D -Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.) after next year’s midterm elections.
Bass, who was on President Biden’s shortlist of candidates for the 2020 election and then emerged as a candidate for Governor Gavin Newsom to nominate for the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris, has been mentioned often by his colleagues as one of the members. who could fill the leadership void, perhaps even as a speaker.
“In the next election – maybe two – there will be turnover at the highest levels of the United States House of Representatives, and there are a lot of good people who people say are already claiming to be president or leader. majority or whip. âRep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) said in an interview. âGiven her experience, I think she has had a real opportunity to fill one of the many leadership positions in the House. “
With only about two dozen black women sitting in the House, a 435-member body, Bass’s decision means the likelihood of a black woman leading House Democrats “may come later than soon,” Aimee said Allison, Founder and President of She The People, a national network of women of color.
2. Democrats could have a narrower majority in the lame duck of 2022
Bass can continue to represent his district in Congress while running for mayor. Many Representatives and Senators have occupied their seats in Congress while running for President or other positions.
But if Bass is elected mayor in November 2022 and sworn in before the 118th Congress is called in January 2023, Democrats may have to adjust to have one less vote for part of the few weeks between Election Day and one. new Congress, known as the Period of the Lame Duck. It can be a busy time, especially if a room moves from one party to another.
Democrats are already struggling to implement the president’s platform with only a three-vote margin in the House and an equally divided Senate. So every vote counts.
“That’s the question: how is this going to mess things up? Said Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside). “If we need her as a voting member in the Lame Ducks session, that could be a problem the last three weeks of December.”
Vacant housing in California is filled by special election, so there would not be enough time to temporarily fill the seat. Bass’s replacement, presumably elected in November 2022, would take the seat in early January.
3. His seat is up for grabs, but …
Bass’s decision to run for mayor signals to potential candidates that his seat is up for grabs. One problem, however, is that no one really knows what that seat will look like next year.
California is set to lose one of its 53 congressional seats, and the California Citizens Redistricting Commission will need to draw new lines for congressional districts based on the new census population totals.
The commission is in its third and final phase, which consists of holding meetings and drawing up maps, with certification of a definitive map likely to be issued before the end of the year.
The deadline for submitting applications to Congress is in March.
4. Representative Barbara Lee Gets a Helping Hand
Bass and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) had both recognized their interest in succeeding Harris in the Senate before the nomination went to Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).
But with no black woman sitting in the chamber since Harris became vice president, Newsom has said he will nominate a black woman if Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Resigns before her term ends in 2024.
At 88, Feinstein is the oldest member of the chamber. She resigned as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee earlier this year.
She gave no indication that she would not complete her term and did not say whether she would run again in 2024. However, her octogenarian colleague Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 88, announced last week he stood for re-election for a new six-year term.
If Bass becomes mayor, Lee will likely move up on Newsom’s shortlist.
âI have made no secret that I think it is time for new leadership at the Senate level and that I think Barbara Lee is very well positioned,â Allison said. âWomen of color, and in particular black women, have been very active in promoting [Newsom] by overcoming the recall, and that’s our expectation: we expect the governor to heed what he has said about his commitment to black women’s leadership.