House

Progressive Dem lays into party over new policy: I’m really disappointed

Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, slammed the Democratic Party on Thursday over a policy intended to protect incumbents from challengers.

“It is not playing games for the Democratic party to be inclusive of all its members perspectives. I have refrained from commenting publicly on this issue until now, but I am extremely disappointed that there is no movement on this issue,” Jayapal tweeted.

“We will continue to push for our voice to be recognized.”

The policy, first implemented last month, mandates that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) not work with or recommend in the future any polling and consulting firm that works on a primary campaign against an incumbent. The effort seeks to starve a short but growing list of primary hopefuls of the assistance of top-tier firms.

“I would prefer that, as far as Democrats go, that we just work together, and we make sure that our colleagues can come back, and that we do what we can to pick up additional seats,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who leads the DCCC, told The Hill last month. 

{mosads}The DCCC’s concerns over progressive primary upsets were sparked last year after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) unseated 10-term Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), who was once viewed as a future Speaker. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), another progressive firebrand, also ousted Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) in a primary last year.

The progressive backers of politicians like Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley are known to be mulling primary challenges as they seek to flex their newfound political muscles. 

Progressives on Capitol Hill were quick to condemn the new DCCC policy, saying it amounted to a blacklist.

“”The @DCCC’s new rule to blacklist+boycott anyone who does business w/ primary challengers is extremely divisive & harmful to the party,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday. “My recommendation, if you’re a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC & give directly to swing candidates instead.”

“If the DCCC enacts this policy to blacklist vendors who work with challengers, we risk undermining an entire universe of potential candidates and vendors – especially women and people of color – whose ideas, energy, and innovation need a place in our party,” Pressley added.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Cheri Bustos Factions in the Democratic Party Michael Capuano Pramila Jayapal primary challenge progressives
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