House Dem: Left has ‘hijacked’ party message

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Rep. John Delaney (Md.), a centrist House Democrat, on Friday warned that voices on the left have “hijacked” his party’s message.

“With Washington already broken, the last thing we need is a left-wing version of the tea party,” Delaney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published online Thursday evening. “But I am worried about where some of the loudest voices in the room could take the Democratic Party.”

{mosads}He said Democrats’ “party microphone has been hijacked by people more interested in scoring points than in solving problems.”

Delaney didn’t specifically mention any prominent liberals by name, but he delved into specific policy debates that have divided Democrats in recent weeks, including trade policy.

Liberal Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have bucked the White House in opposing legislation that would grant President Obama fast-track trade authority, arguing that it would favor corporations and put U.S. workers in competition with low-wage workers in other countries.

Not true, argued Delaney, who is among a small group of House Democrats who have vowed to vote for the fast-track bill.
“A fair trade deal is a crucial step in bolstering the U.S. manufacturing renaissance, boosting U.S. exports and growing our economy,” Delaney wrote. “Unfortunately, Democratic recalcitrance is increasing the chance that the deal could be done instead by a Republican president.”

Aside from trade, Delaney criticized those in his party advocating to expand Social Security, something Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been pushing in his presidential bid.

“They propose expanding Social Security rather than prioritizing serious efforts to preserve the program — even though it will be unable to provide full benefits as soon as 2032, the Congressional Budget Office has made clear,” Delaney said. “The only way a large-scale expansion could work is by allocating new revenue away from needed investments in the next generation or by shifting the financial burden to workers or our children.”

Delaney also criticized those in his party who he said want to “relitigate the financial crisis” of 2008.

“Although these subjects may make for good partisan talking points, they do not provide the building blocks for a positive and bold agenda to create jobs and improve the lives of Americans,” Delaney wrote.

He wrote that the “time-consuming rhetoric attacking banks … has little chance of producing more financial reform and distracts from far more consequential areas of economic risk.”

“Our values tell us to care more about people than institutions and to judge success not by the performance of the most fortunate but by the whole of society.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren

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