(Bloomberg) -- Representative Pramila Jayapal has her eyes on a senior Democratic leadership post as the party prepares for a generational change next year.
The chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal has gained influence by keeping the fractious 101-member group united on key votes. She’s previously said she was considering a role in Democratic leadership. In an interview Friday, she specified her aims.
“I think given the leadership role that I played so far, we’d have to see, but it would be one of the top roles probably,” Jayapal said.
Republicans are heavily favored to win control of the House after the November midterm elections. Regardless of the outcome, many House Democrats have been pressing for a younger generation of leaders to take over.
The top three House Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn are all in their 80s.
New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, 52, is widely considered the heir apparent to Pelosi, who in 2018 committed to not seeking the speakership beyond 2022 in response to demands from younger Democrats. Pelosi, who is running for re-election, has declined to give any indication of her intentions after the November election. Several other leadership posts are also expected to open up, with senior Democrats vying to rise in the ranks.
Under Jayapal’s leadership, progressives have been influential in a number of legislative wins for Democrats during this current session of Congress including the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Progressives’ stance on some issues often led to confrontations with moderate members. But Jayapal demonstrated her readiness to negotiate, even if it meant giving up on some goals to push through others.
“I’m certainly aware that there might be an opportunity for me to display the same kind of leadership that I have with the Progressive Caucus for the broader caucus,” the Washington Democrat said.
Jayapal, 57, who is in a safe re-election race, is currently focused on raising money for Democratic candidates in competitive races and joining them on the campaign trail.
Her leadership political action committee has raised more than $2 million this election cycle and spent just under $1.5 million, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.org.
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