U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat, entering his sixth term in office, was unanimously elected the Assistant Democratic Leader for the next Congress. In a statement, Luján said he was “honored” to be selected for that position, which makes him the number four Democrat in the House. “As Assistant Democratic Leader, I will welcome ideas from all corners of our Caucus to build our agenda, protect our majority, hold the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans accountable, and make a positive difference in people’s lives,” the congressman said. “Just like the midterm elections, the road ahead won’t be easy. But I’m confident that if we are all willing to come to the table, listen, ask the hard questions, and put in the work, we will successfully meet this moment.”
Luján led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a group tasked with electing Democrats to the U.S. House, throughout the past two election cycles.
Fresh off re-election, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján is seeking a position in U.S. House leadership. The day after Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Luján announced he now wants to become Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth-highest position in Democratic leadership. For the last two election cycles, Luján was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps elect Democrats to the U.S. House. Currently the New York Times reports Democrats won 27 House seats, for 22 total seats, with 17 races, including one in southern New Mexico, undecided. With the majority, Democrats will elect a Speaker of the House, opening up another leadership position.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared at Democratic candidate Deb Haaland’s campaign office Tuesday to support the candidate and speak about reauthorizing the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). “As we pass laws about domestic violence and violence against women, we must recognize the specific nature of the challenge in Indian Country,” Pelosi told the room of campaign volunteers. Haaland is the Democratic nominee for the 1st Congressional District, a position currently held by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Haaland will face Republican Janice Arnold-Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in the November general election. Pelosi praised Haaland and her campaign, but added that they are sure to see negative attacks from Republicans.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about what she sees wrong with President Donald Trump’s tax policy and encouraged New Mexicans to voice their concerns about the recent bill at a public roundtable discussion of federal tax policy Friday. New Mexico’s U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya and National Education Association of New Mexico director Charles Bowyer joined the California Democrat. Both the policy itself and the process in which Congress approved it faced major criticisms over the hour-long discussion. Pelosi said extensive debates and discussions are generally expected on major tax bills. “None of that was accomplished in the dark of night, in the speed of light,” Pelosi said.
House Democrats, especially members of the Congressional Hispanic Committee, were frustrated after a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director following news of increased enforcement actions by the federal law enforcement agency. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but ICE canceled the meeting in favor of today’s bipartisan meeting. At the meeting with Acting Director Thomas Homans, Democrats said in a press conference that not all those who wished to attend were allowed. “The meeting focused on the agency’s targeted enforcement efforts conducted across the nation last week,” a readout of the meeting provided by an ICE spokesperson said. The members also said they were disappointed that ICE didn’t provide all the information they asked for earlier this week.
Congressman Ben Ray Luján had his emails hacked by those with ties to Russians, according to a report in the New York Times. Luján was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an organization that seeks to elect more Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives. The DCCC was the target of the hacking incident, which was similar to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Media reports have also said that the Republican National Committee saw its emails hacked, though the organization has denied this. The DCCC acknowledged it was hacked in July of this year.
Democrats in Congress voted to stay the course with leadership, including with one New Mexican in a key role. Ben Ray Luján, a Democratic congressman from northern New Mexico, will lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a second election cycle in a row. The position is not elected and is instead selected by the Democratic leader. That leader remains Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who was reelected to the minority leader position over Ohio’s Tim Ryan on a 134 to 63 vote. Pelosi has led the Democratic caucus since 2002, and often saw very little or no opposition for her time as Minority Leader or, when Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives, Speaker.
Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the high profile Democrats scheduled to appear in Santa Fe this weekend for a Democratic conference. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Issues Conference will take place this weekend with a number of high profile Democrats. Related: Michelle Obama to give commencement address at Santa Fe Indian School
The Santa Fe location is likely thanks to Ben Ray Luján. The congressman who represents the state capital is the chair of the DCCC. Luján is the first Hispanic chair of the Democratic group dedicated to elected Democrats to Congress. “I look forward to welcoming Leader Pelosi, Vice President Biden, and my colleagues to New Mexico for this opportunity to show off the state and all the great things New Mexico has to offer,” Luján said in a statement.
While he initially supported Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, Steve Pearce ultimately voted for Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House on Thursday. Ryan won the position, replacing John Boehner, who announced last month that he would be leaving Congress and relinquish the position as Speaker of the House. Pearce explained his vote in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “As I’ve said often, every American deserves a government that is effective, efficient and accountable,” Pearce said. “Today’s election marks a transition.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, slammed House Republicans over actions related to the Confederate flag. A vote on a spending bill was delayed over whether to stop flying the Confederate flag at National Parks. “It is shameful that on the very day South Carolina acted to take down the flag, House Republicans are standing up for the Confederate Battle Flag and the intolerance it represents,” Luján said on Thursday. Luján is also the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the top Democratic congressional entity for elections. Weeks after the a mass shooting at a black South Carolina church and hours after the South Carolina Legislature voted to take down the Confederate battle flag—more commonly cited as the Confederate flag—the House Republicans find themselves in the middle of a controversy over the flying of the flag.