As expected, South Carolina Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn was elected majority whip after the House Democratic Caucus unanimously selected him by acclamation.
Wednesday's vote returns Clyburn to the third-highest post in the House.
“As I said to my colleagues today, America is already a great country: Our challenge is to make its greatness apply fairly and equitably to all of its people," he said afterward.
He said that as the only member of the leadership from a red state and largely rural district, "I will work tirelessly to be a voice for the millions of Americans who feel left out and communities that are too often left behind."
Clyburn, of Columbia, and who has been in the House since 1992, said he planned to build "a whip operation that is reflective of the diversity of our caucus and that empowers a new generation of members to have a voice in our legislative process.”
Democrats won the House as a result of this month's midterm elections with a net gain of 39 seats.
Clyburn last served as House majority whip when Democrats previously controlled the chamber from 2007 to 2011.
The role tasks him first and foremost with persuading Democrats to vote together as a party, but it also gives him a place at the leadership table heading into the next session.
Clyburn's selection means two black members of Congress are in the top five leadership spots: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, was elected House Democratic Caucus chair.