Top progressive group comes out against Himes as DCCC chair

Greg Nash

A major progressive group is hoping to pressure House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) against appointing a congressman close to Wall Street as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) sent an email to more than a million members on Thursday, urging them to “call Nancy Pelosi right now and tell her Jim Himes appointment would hurt Democratic chances in 2016.”

As current Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) departs after two terms at the helm of the DCCC, progressives are concerned about Himes, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, and his perceived close relationship with Wall Street.

In the past three election cycles, he has taken more money for his campaigns from the investment industry than any other field, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Himes led the New York branch of an affordable housing group. He's also been a supporter of parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and defended the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He later introduced legislation that would have changed the law in a way some said would weaken the bill's regulation of financial derivatives.

Himes's office declined to comment on the PCCC's email.

Himes is not the only member in the running for the top job at the committee. Reps. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Lois FrankelLois FrankelDems push B boost for childcare programs Members snap photos of pope from the House floor House rejects Obama's Iran deal MORE (D-Fla.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) are said to be considered for the post. Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) was also being considered, but then said he was not interested in the position.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee email was sent following victory for the liberal base. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump sticks by 'Pocahontas' nickname after being challenged Trump: Warren ‘as Native American as I am’ The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Mass.) joined Senate leadership on Thursday and will act as a liaison between Democrats and the party base. Warren has aggressively pursued tighter regulations on large banks.

The PCCC praised the development in another email to supporters, noting that they were heavily involved in her campaign for the Senate.

 

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