An ambitious harvest of young Democrats is gathering the loot of victory in the Chamber.
After years of grumbling about the power of the minority leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the new majority has opened positions of command with real responsibilities and the next generation is seizing this moment.
More than a dozen Democrats have launched offers for six positions of leadership, with almost every contender a junior legislator who served less than four terms. Most of these Democrats have never been in the majority, but they all saw themselves as the heirs of the trio that ran the caucus for almost 16 years.
With a new majority, they have the possibility of claiming lower level command posts that have effective power. The question for Pelosi is if this new dynamic could also help alleviate the pressure on Pelosi and his best lieutenants, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) And James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.).
All three are trying to grasp the first three positions – speaker, majority leader, whip majority – in the face of resistance from some internal democratic critics.
Those rebels continue to look for a way to overthrow Pelosi, but their biggest problem is the lack of any challenger so far in the democratic vote, scheduled for 28 November.
Once the 10-member representative Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) Lost his primaries in June, the field of potential democratic leaders quickly lost gravity.
Instead, emerging Democrats are struggling for positions that will give them a chance to impress colleagues and then rush to the top positions once Pelosi, 78, Hoyer, 79 and Clyburn, 78, will inevitably retire.
"I am running for this leadership position because, as someone who comes from a district that has voted for Donald Trump, I live and breathe this every day of my congressional career," said revered Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) which launches its bid to chair the Democratic Congress Campaign Committee. "The most effective way I can improve the lives of hard-working Americans is to help protect our new democratic majority."
Bustos, 57, has just been elected to serve his fourth term in a somewhat rural neighborhood in western Illinois. A former journalist and editor of the Quad-City Times, she was widely regarded as one of the party's most effective communicators, particularly on economic issues related to the stagnation of middle-class wages.
But there is nothing like a free pass, so Bustos is probably lining up against a couple of Washington Democrats, representatives Denny Heck, 66, and Suzan DelBene, 56, who served as deputy in the political arm of the caucus in last years. .
All three contenders were elected for the first time at the Congress in 2012.
"These were not wallflowers, they were not people who were content to be backbenchers," said former Congressman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).
As president of the DCCC in 2012 and 2014, Israel has helped recruit these three and knows many of the other newcomers in leadership racing.
At least one Democrat is fishing for one of the top spots while the 61-year-old Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) Is challenging Clyburn for the majority of the whip.
Two other key competitions are for the assistant chief democrat and the president of the Democratic Caucus.
Pelosi created the first position after the 2010 semesters took Democrats away from the majority, giving Clyburn a soft landing because the minority traditionally has a lesser leadership position.
He is running for his old majority work, creating a competition to replace him as a chief assistant who will test the ideological and political boundaries of the caucus: Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM) against Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI).
Luján, 46, has just returned from a four-year run as president of the DCCC, from disappointing 2016 elections to Tuesday's Republican elections. Cicilline, 57, is a senior member of the Progressive Caucus, co-president of LGBT Equality Caucus and two years ago won the election as co-chair of a political committee.
The caucus chair contest is a generational clash at the Black Caucus Congress: 72-year-old Barbara Lee (California), a 20-year-old veteran, against 48-year-old Hakeem Jeffries (NY), elected for the first time in 2012.
Pelosi does not exercise the same influence inside the caucus as he did eight years ago, so he focuses entirely on his offer to freeze votes and become the first person to return to the podium of the speaker since 1955.
This means that these down-ballot races are even more open, unlike the previous post-election seasons of defeat and recrimination. After those losses, Pelosi would have repressed the rebellion by creating new command posts, some of which had a real influence, some of which were just a window.
The biggest wild card, for the election of speakers and other posts, will probably be the incoming freshman, which will be at least number 54. This is about 20 percent of the votes in secret ballots.
"We keep our word, we keep our promises, and I hope people find it refreshing," Deputy Jason Crow (D-Colo) told the Washington Post Mike DeBonis on Thursday, insisting he will not vote for Pelosi.
Crow and many others have pledged during their campaigns not to support Pelosi. It is unclear how many will be voting against them during the internal vote at the end of this month and then they will say that they have to vote for her in the January 3 public appeal in Parliament, rather than doing something to help the Republicans.
One last win is the commission assignments, which grow substantially for the majority party.
Only 14 Democrats will return next year, which are currently part of the Committee for the Ways and Means, the group that oversees matters relating to health, trade and taxes. The next speaker will be able to add about 10 new members to that committee.
There will be about 10 points more, combined, on the powerful commissions for allocations and energy and trade.
Pelosi will no doubt try to win holdouts with promises of support to get those legislators into the key committees of their choice.
If he wins, however, even nearby allies believe that he will not stay long talking. Israel has said that once these young democrats enter powerful command posts, they will soon see the best places for them to get hold of.
This group will settle for these lower-level spots "for the time being", he said. "These positions will be milestones".
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