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Post Politics Now Democrats pick Jeffries as leader; House votes to avert rail strike

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) walks to a House vote on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. (Sarah Silberger for The Washington Post)

Today, House Democrats elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as their leader, making him the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress. The New Yorker succeeds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who has led the Democrats for two decades. Jeffries will carry the title of minority leader when Congress returns in January with Republicans in control of the House.

The full House voted for legislation aimed at blocking a national rail strike that could deal a blow to the economy. A strike could occur as early as Dec. 9 after some unions rejected a contract deal brokered by the White House. President Biden asked Congress to put the force of law behind that agreement, which would raise wages but provide no paid sick days. The House passed a separate bill that would give workers seven sick days. Both bills now move to the Senate. The first is expected to pass. The fate of the second is unclear.

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