Representative Katherine Clark (MA-5)
By Katherine Flaherty, MDiv; Member, Public Policy Committee
This is a unique opportunity to introduce Representative Katherine Clark (MA-5), recently elected Assistant Speaker and whip of the 118th Congress. This position makes her the fourth highest ranking member of the next Congress and the second highest ranking woman in congressional history. She has represented the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts since 2013 and previously served on its state legislature and school board.
In her current role, Rep. Clark sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. She also serves on the Subcommittee of Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, the Subcommittee of the Legislative Branch, and finally the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Minority Whip Clark will monitor the voting proclivities of the caucus members and mediate among the congressional leadership and the representatives. The other most prominent congressional leaders are House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8 ), who was elected to replace the retiring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), along with Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31), who will serve as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Clark is particularly interested in senior issues, especially the importance of investing more in Social Security, which would allow for inflationary adjustments by using the national Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). These adjustments would more accurately reflect seniors’ spending on essential items. She has introduced some 79 bills during this term, including The Shirley Chisholm Congressional Gold Medal, which received 122 co-sponsors, and The No Tax Breaks for Union Busting, which received 115 co-sponsors. Clark has also introduced many health-related bills serving women’s needs. Additionally, on December 8, she announced the Chief Deputy Whips for the 118th Congress. The women to serve include: Sharice Davids (KS-3), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Deborah Ross (NC-2), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Terri Sande (AL-7), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).
Christine Kulich, political science instructor at Suffolk University describes Clark as “…a connector and a schmoozer, … in a strategic position and in a really strong position because of her connections with the younger lawmakers and with incoming ones…. [Clark] has made it her business to know everybody in the caucus really, really well….” Congratulations to Katherine Clark on a well-deserved promotion. We are confident that she will perform as an exemplary leader.