james_clyburn_web_8.jpgWASHINGTON (AP) _ The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus says Rep. James Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American in the House Democratic leadership, should be the vanquished party's second in command.

Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, said Monday that Democrats need Clyburn's expertise "bridging what divides us'' during the next two years under Republican control.

Leaders of the new GOP majority have said they intend to try to repeal the health care overhaul and other laws enacted during the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Lee's letter comes after Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland released the names of 30 rank-and-file Democrats who endorse him for the same post.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she would see the top job of minority leader in the next Congress.