Democratic lawmakers support Bustos after DCCC resignations

Democratic lawmakers support Bustos after DCCC resignations
© Greg Nash

Several Democratic lawmakers came out in support of Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosLongtime GOP Rep. Pete King won't seek reelection in New York House Democrats target Latino vote in Texas Impeachment inquiry might be public by mid-November: report MORE (D-Ill.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), after outrage over a lack of diversity at the top rungs of the group raised questions about her leadership.

A DCCC aide told The Hill that Bustos spent Tuesday on the phone with vulnerable “frontline” lawmakers up for reelection, as well as members of the “Tri-caucuses,” which represent the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American lawmakers.


Several of the Democrats released statements of support on Wednesday morning, saying they’re convinced that Bustos is taking the diversity push seriously at the DCCC and that the House Democratic campaign arm can move on with her as chairwoman.

“I am glad to see Chairwoman Bustos hear the concerns of her colleagues and tackle issues of diversity and inclusion head on, so we can build on that,” Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondTwo former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Election security funds caught in crosshairs of spending debate Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks MORE (D-La.), a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement.

“She’s taking the issues head on, having these tough conversations, and I look forward to being a partner in her work to ensure the DCCC’s leadership reflects the diversity of our caucus, our party and of our country,” he added.

Five senior members of the DCCC resigned Monday after black and Hispanic lawmakers demanded that more people of color represent the organization in top staff positions.

The departures left the House Democratic campaign arm in turmoil, and several former staffers told The Hill that Bustos’s position as chairwoman was imperiled unless she could rally support from the lawmakers who elected her to lead the DCCC.

“After speaking with Chairwoman Bustos, I’m confident she understands the importance of this mission and is working with our Caucus to bring in diverse, talented perspectives to the DCCC leadership team,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I will help her achieve this goal as we defend our Democratic majority and continue to deliver results for the American people.”

The shake-up came at a critical moment for the DCCC, which is focused on protecting the 36 vulnerable “frontline” lawmakers up for reelection in 2020.

The DCCC is also trying to close the deal on a new class of recruits to run against Republican incumbents, and there were fears that the chaos might dampen enthusiasm from some of the party’s most coveted potential challengers.

Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraOne year out, moderate Dems on track to keep the House Democrat unveils bill capping number of ambassadors who are political appointees Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the Frontline program and of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said Bustos “has heard the concerns of our diverse caucus and is taking action to address these issues head on.”

“Chairwoman Bustos understands that task and will continue to grow and defend our Democratic majority,” Bera said.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Bustos has his “full support and confidence,” while Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyLawmakers mourn death of 'Julia' star Diahann Carroll Jonathan Van Ness meets with Nancy Pelosi to discuss the Equality Act Democrats rally behind incumbents as Lipinski takes liberal fire MORE (D-Ill.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Bustos expressed “her strong desire to get this right.”

“I believe she is committed to an inclusive and diverse DCCC,” Kelly said. “I am committed to working with Cheri and anyone who seeks to lead in a way that is inclusive and representative of our experience as Americans.”