If Democrats take control of the House following the 2018 midterm elections, the Congressional Black Caucus wants a black lawmaker to hold one of the top leadership positions.
The group's chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond, made the request in a private letter circulated to his colleagues on Thursday.
According to multiple outlets that obtained a copy of the letter, Richmond pointed out a black lawmaker has never held the position of speaker or House majority leader. He added, "African Americans deserve more than a simple gesture of gratitude — they deserve representation at the apex of the party's infrastructure."
Depending on the outlet, Richmond's letter is either being interpreted as a threat to the current Democratic leadership or as simply a statement of intent if the party ultimately decides it should shake things up.
Both Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer have signaled they'll run for speaker and majority leader, respectively, if Democrats take back the House on Nov. 6.
But a Pelosi win isn't considered a done deal, as there's an undercurrent of anti-Pelosi sentiment within parts of the Democratic Party.
One of the most obvious candidates to take one of the top positions would be black Rep. Jim Clyburn, who's currently the third-ranking Democrat in the House. But he's reportedly said he doesn't plan to directly challenge Pelosi or Hoyer for either position.