Democratic Caucus of the United States House of Representatives

The House Democratic Caucus nominates and elects the Democratic Party leadership in the United States House of Representatives. The group is composed of all Democratic Representatives in the House. In its roles as a party conference, the caucus writes and enforces rules of conduct and discipline for its members, approves committee assignments, and serves as the primary forum for development of party policy and legislative priorities. It hosts weekly meetings for these purposes and to communicate the party's message to members.

At the Organizational Meeting on November 18, 2008, of the Democratic Caucus for the 111th Congress, Representative John B. Larson (D-Connecticut) was elected Caucus Chairman by acclamation. The election was presided over by the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Caucus for the 110th Congress, former Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois). Rep. Larson officially assumed the position of chairman on the first day of the 111th Congress, January 3, 2009.

After his election as chairman at the Organizational Meeting on November 18, Chairman Larson presided over the election of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-California), who defeated Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio by a vote count of 175 to 67. Rep. Becerra likewise assumed his vice-chairmanship on January 3.

The forerunner of the House Democratic Caucus, the Democratic-Republican caucus, was established on April 2, 1796, to stop a treaty with Great Britain which unfairly treated American sailors. For many years, through 1820, it nominated presidential candidates (before the era of national nominating conventions).

Since 2003, the House Democratic Leader has been Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California (the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history).[1]


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