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Meet the new second most powerful woman in Congress



Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women lead in the Grammys’ rock categories, Meghan Markle writes a moving essay about miscarriage, and Rep. Katherine Clark will be the second most powerful woman in Congress. The Broadsheet will be off on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving—have a wonderful holiday if you’re celebrating. We’ll see you back here on Monday.

– Full house. For years, the Democratic caucus has been led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Pelosi has always been the lone woman at the top in Congress.

Next term, Pelosi will be joined by Rep. Katherine Clark, the Massachusetts congresswoman. Democrats elected Clark to the role of assistant speaker last week in a race against Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline.

The role doesn’t determine who is next in line for the speakership, but Clark’s ascension to the No. 4 position in the House of Representatives is notable nonetheless. Clark is only the second woman, after Pelosi, to ever serve in House leadership and will be the second most powerful woman in Congress. She will play an important role in setting the House Democrats’ agenda—during a two-year stretch that could be Pelosi’s last in the speakership (in 2018, Pelosi promised progressives she would only seek two more terms in the top job).

In an interview with Fortune, Clark reflected on reaching gender parity in House leadership and setting goals for the Democrats this session. “We represent 51% of our population. It’s long past time that we give up the idea that ‘one woman is enough,’” she said of joining Pelosi at the top.

Clark, who was first elected to Congress in a 2013 special election, has long been a passionate advocate for accessible childcare and says that supporting both childcare workers and parents who need affordable care for their kids will be one of her top priorities come January.

Read the rest of her interview here.

Emma Hinchliffe

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