The Congressional Black Caucus on Nov. 14 elected a new chair, accomplishing at least one important piece of business during Congress’ lame duck session.
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, a Democrat who has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District since 2008, was unanimously chosen by her colleagues to lead the group of Black lawmakers.
“I am humbled by the vote of confidence of my colleagues who have selected me to serve as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 113th Congress,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to leading this venerable Caucus, and to speak and act on behalf of its members who share a vision and commitment to move our nation forward.”
The Ohio Democrat succeeds Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who called his successor “an exceptional leader.”
“She has served her constituents and the state of Ohio with unmatched fervor and has been an outspoken member of the CBC in supporting policies that protect the most vulnerable in our country,” Cleaver said in a statement. “Rep. Fudge will see to it that the Congressional Black Caucus remains the most vocal when equal opportunity and justice is under attack.”
The new chairman alluded to some of the issues that will be championed by the CBC during her tenure.
“As members of the Congressional Black Caucus, we call ourselves the ‘Conscience of the Congress’ for a reason. We are a collective voice for millions of people around the country who need us to champion their issues and protect their future,” she stated.
“We remain concerned about high rates of employment, particularly among African Americans for whom the jobless rate remains in double digits. We are all concerned about making equal access to quality healthcare a reality, reducing poverty and related issues, preserving and strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We seek to balance the federal budget responsibly so all Americans can prosper.”
Other elected officers include: Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), to serve as first vice chair, Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), as second vice chair, André Carson (D-Ind.), as secretary and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), as whip.