Clyburn Insisting On Vote For Whip

A source close to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn just put the kibosh on the possibility of an orderly transition into the minority for Democrats.

Clyburn is running against House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to be the minority whip next year. Since late last week, Hoyer allies have called on the two contestants to end the race and agree to take the number two and three seats at the Democratic leadership table this January: Hoyer as Minority Whip, Clyburn as conference chair.

But Clyburn is now holding out for a vote within the Democratic caucus, the source said.

Taking a step down the ladder, according to the source, is “unworkable” for Clyburn.“It pushes out Larson [or] Becerra and that’s not something that he wants to be a part of,” the source said, referring to Reps. John Larson and Xavier Becerra, one of whom would likely be left on the outside looking in. “He’s running for whip and the CBC’s been clear to him that this — that while he’s a bridge builder and a consensus builder, this is not his cause. They believe it’s their cause and they want to see this come to a vote.”

According to the source, Clyburn is also not favorably disposed to the idea of creating a new position to accommodate all existing Democratic leaders.

The decision comes after a meeting between Hoyer, Clyburn, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, during which a deal was discussed, but not reached. Clyburn today took explicit issue with Hoyer’s conduct in the race, saying he broke tradition by serially releasing the names of his supporters. Clyburn has released names of supporters as well, though the Hoyer camp has run a broader public offensive.

Leadership elections are expected to happen next week when the small incoming class of new Democrats arrives for orientation.

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