The House Democratic Caucus nominates and elects the Democratic Party leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives. The group is composed of all Democratic representatives in the House. In its roles as a party conference, the caucus writes and enforces rules of conduct and discipline for its members, approves committee assignments, and serves as the primary forum for development of party policy and legislative priorities. It hosts weekly meetings for these purposes and to communicate the party's message to members.
The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus is Rep. Xavier Becerra of California. The previous chairman was Rep. John B. Larson of Connecticut, who was preceded in that post by then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois.
There are currently 199 Democrats in the House, compared with 234 Republicans. The highest-ranking Democrat in the House is Minority Leader (formerly House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi of California. The second-ranking Democrat is Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who is followed in rank by Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn of South Carolina.
The forerunner of the House Democratic Caucus, the Democratic-Republican caucus, was established on April 2, 1796, to stop a treaty with Great Britain which unfairly treated American sailors. For many years, through 1820, it nominated presidential candidates (before the era of national nominating conventions). (Source: Wikipedia)
Photo: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, of California, and Vice Chairman Joe Crowley and Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, both of New York, discuss House Democrats’ families-first economic plan in July 2014. (Photo: House Democratic Caucus, via flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.)