Working to guide his social gathering on Oversight is a big gamble for Raskin, chopping in opposition to the caucus’ penchant for doling out plum positions in response to seniority. However amid the potential for a broader post-election shakeup in Democratic management — following years of lawmakers’ non-public kvetching concerning the incapacity to maneuver up as octogenarians held onto the highest positions — Raskin might discover his bid boosted as an array of youthful members vault up the ranks.
“Now we have a beautiful predicament of three nice of us operating for this, however Jamie’s particular,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who’s whipping for Raskin, mentioned in a short interview. He referred to as the Marylander “your entire bundle.”
Every of the three Democrats elbowing for the highest spot on the committee — which got here open after the present chair, 76-year-old Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) misplaced her major — have additionally begun placing collectively their very own whip groups, seeking to shore up early help amongst their colleagues. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who beat Maloney in a hard-fought major, is amongst these whipping for Raskin.
Every camp has their work reduce out for them. Maloney isn’t planning to endorse, she advised POLITICO, and several other members of the Oversight Committee haven’t but backed a contender. The November election might additionally shake up the core group of Democrats who will make suggestions on who will get the spot.
Raskin mentioned in an interview that he respects the “precept of seniority” however that assuming probably the most senior member ought to robotically be chair is a “rebuttable presumption.” That needs to be true “except there’s a compelling cause to maneuver in one other path,” he added.
“I feel that this can be a judgment of the caucus concerning the character of the occasions that we’re in and whose specific expertise and preparation is most indicated by the occasions,” Raskin added.
Connolly and Lynch each entered the race earlier than Raskin. Whereas they’re extra senior on the committee and highlighted it once they introduced their bids, they’re not campaigning on that as their high asset.
Raskin, Lynch and Connolly are every subcommittee chairs — overseeing Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; Nationwide Safety; and Authorities Operations, respectively — and their present posts spotlight a number of the completely different focuses they might carry to the complete committee.
Lynch, for instance, mentioned he desires to prioritize voting reforms subsequent 12 months and pressured his expertise with hands-on investigations. He’s led congressional journeys to japanese Europe and the Ukrainian border to bolster congressional help for Kyiv, pairing these visits with hearings and data requests on Russia.
“I feel getting on the bottom and serving to members perceive … that operate of the committee, which is the center and soul of its operation, is one thing I most likely have a bonus in,” Lynch mentioned, who described the race as a “bounce ball.”
Requested about being probably the most senior Democrat on the panel who’s operating for the highest spot, Lynch mentioned he thought seniority was “an element” however “I don’t suppose it’s the one most necessary issue. It has been up to now, however I don’t know that it’s now.”
Connolly mentioned he thought Raskin had finished a “terrific job” along with his work on the Jan. 6 choose committee, however contended that Oversight had a “barely completely different mission.”
“We cope with the nuts and bolts of presidency. And it’s very granular oversight which will appear obscure, however typically these points are hinges to a lot larger issues,” Connolly, whose state has a considerable variety of authorities employees, mentioned in a short interview.
Connolly beforehand misplaced to Maloney in 2019’s race for the highest spot on the Oversight Committee. Lynch additionally ran that 12 months however dropped out earlier than the caucus voted. Amongst these backing Connolly embody Overseas Affairs Chair Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.), whereas Lynch pointed to Monetary Companies Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Reps. Danny Davis (D-Unwell.) and Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) as a few of these supporting him.
Raskin joined the Home in 2017, Connolly in 2009 and Lynch in 2001. However Raskin has had extra time within the nationwide highlight greater than his opponents, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi has handed him a number of the most politically delicate assignments in recent times.
Pelosi named Raskin the lead impeachment supervisor for Trump’s second trial, which got here simply weeks after a mob of the previous president’s supporters stormed the Capitol and disrupted the formal counting of President Joe Biden’s Electoral Faculty win. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), one other Raskin whip, mentioned his effectiveness in that place “impressed” her.
Months later, Pelosi tapped Raskin for the choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault, a high-profile perch that’s discovered him and eight different panel member unleashing a gentle stream of bombshells stemming from Trump-backed makes an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
“Turning into Oversight and Authorities Reform chair embodies the breadth of his work. He’s not simply an impeachment supervisor. He’s not only a member of the 1/6 committee. He’s someone who has educated all of us on this nation about our democracy, our Structure,” mentioned Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), who has been speaking to members on Raskin’s behalf.
If Democrats lose the Home, as anticipated, whoever succeeds Maloney can be the rating member — and be on the vanguard of countering GOP probes on every little thing starting from Hunter Biden’s enterprise dealings to the White Home’s dealing with of the pandemic. Raskin, in his personal letter to his colleagues final month, famous that the social gathering was “nonetheless within the struggle of our lives to defend American constitutional democracy.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) — whereas stressing she spoke for herself and never the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which she chairs — mentioned she was “very supportive” of Raskin.
“I feel he can be an unbelievable chair both within the majority, the place we’ve a variety of oversight to do, or … if we have been within the minority he can be a incredible defender of democracy,” Jayapal mentioned, including that Raskin has “a lot respect throughout the caucus.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who can be backing Raskin, mentioned his work on impeachment and the Jan. 6 panel give him a “ethical authority” that he might carry to the caucus’ high spot on Oversight.
“I feel individuals see, in Jamie’s case, that he can be so good for the position that he has an opportunity to beat the institutional choice for seniority,” Khanna mentioned.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.