Now that New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries will be stepping into the role of the next Speaker of the House, replacing long-time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, there are many questions swirling about.
In late November, House Democrats elected Jeffries to succeed Pelosi. He made history as the first Black party leader in Congress.
“This is a moment of transition,” Jeffries told a small group of reporters on Nov. 29. “We stand on the shoulders of giants but are also looking forward to being able to do what’s necessary at this moment to advance the issues.”
Many are wondering where Jeffries stands on reparations and the AIPAC Lobby. AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee and it is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies. In fact, it the largest pro-Israel lobby in the U.S.
Jeffries has served in New York’s 8th congressional district since 2013.
Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for 19 years, has represented California’s 12th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1987.
The Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is by law second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President, and the 25th Amendment makes the Speaker a part of the process announcing presidential disability, according to the House of Representatives website.
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Many wonder if Jeffries would fight for the Black agenda and push for reparations to get passed.
Jeffries spoke about reparations with the Brookings Institution in 2020 and explained that there would need to be a reckoning with history.
“African Americans were largely carved out of the New Deal. So, you had the Depression and a response to it, but a response to it that only applied to some Americans, not all Americans in certain instances,” said Rep. Jeffries.
One other time he had this to say about reparations: “African Americans were largely carved out of the New Deal. So, you had the Depression and a response to it, but a response to it that only applied to some Americans, not all Americans in certain instances.”
“Back home in New York City, we consider Jerusalem to be the sixth borough,” Jeffries once said in 2020 at an AIPAC conference.
Jeffries has been “unequivocally in support of Israel throughout his political career, and also vocally supported several pro-Israel Democrats instead of their progressive challengers in this year’s midterms,” Middle East Eye reported.
Over the past year, Jeffries has gotten nearly $460,000 in campaign donations from pro-Israel groups, including more than $213,000 from Pro-Israel America, his largest single donor.
Robert Wexler, a former Democratic congressman, told Jewish Insider that “if the pro-Israel community wanted to create a Democratic leader for the future, we would create Hakeem Jeffries.”
Wexler continued, “Hakeem is not just interested in these issues. He’s devoted to them. He’s respectful of the American Jewish community. He identifies with it. And he’s just a really nice guy on top of it.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., walks to the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 30, 2022, after being elected House Democratic leader to become the first Black American to lead a major political party in Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)