The Congressional Black Caucus is positioned to dramatically increase its clout next Congress if Democrats win control of the House. The 43-member group, already one of the most powerful blocs among House Democrats, would control as many as five committee gavels in a Democratic House, including two exclusive panels, Ways and Means and Judiciary. Members of the group also would lead 15 subcommittees, six of them on exclusive panels. And Caucus Chairman Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) would be a contender for majority whip.
The CBC could also expand its membership to 50 if all goes according to plan in November.
Signs of serious political maturity are beginning to blossom in the CBC. Another interesting note out of The Hill:
On the business front, the CBC would be poised to marshal the backing of K Street to boost its legislative agenda. Even in the minority, the CBC was able to attract large companies to help ensure the renewal of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). More than 10 corporate chief executives wrote House and Senate leaders encouraging quick passage, as did one large business group, the Business Roundtable. Several CBC sources suggested that using lobbyists to push legislation, a model pioneered by House Republicans, would become a part of the CBC’s playbook after the VRA success.
Univ. of MD professor Dr. Ronald Walters suggested on ASCENT Perspectives several days ago that Democrats may be faking the funk on chairmanship rules as a way to distract Republican voters from controversial figures like Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who both stand to chair powerful committees.