Some of the most Republican Democrats in the House, led by scummy New Jersey Blue Dog Josh Gottheimer, one of Congress' most disliked members, have gone to war against their own party. These are the nine culprits who have decided to die on a hill fighting against Democratic values and principles and for the interests of the wealthy donor class, corruption as a way of life and the status quo:
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Ed Case (Blue Dog-HI)
Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Carolyn Bourdeaux (Blue Dog-CA
Filemon Vela (New Dem-TX)
Vicente Gonzalez (Blue Dog-TX)
They're not without allies, of course. No Labels and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, two Republican front groups, are backing them to the hilt, smelling blood in the water. Using NRCC talking points straight from Kevin McCarthy's office, the Gottheimer group aims to wreck the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, the framework of the Senate reconciliation package embodying the essence of the Democratic domestic agenda and the only shot the Democrats have for winning the midterms. Ironically, some of the most likely Democrats to go down to ignominious defeat next year if the legislation fails are slowed-witted conservatives Jared Golden of Maine and Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia. Whatever happens, Congress will be better off without them.
But Golden and Bourdeaux have something else they need to be considering if they ultimately stick with Gottheimer-- the DCCC may actually do what they've never dome before: punish rebellious conservatives for betraying the party. While Golden and Bourdeaux and some of the others bask in the Chamber of Commerce and No Labels adulation and superfluous, deceitful Facebook ads praising them, the DCCC is dangling millions of dollars over their heads. The Gottheimer group and their allies at the Chamber and No labels are desperate to defeat measures that would allow a more equitable tax system to pay for an ambitious program meant to bolster the working class and ameliorate the Climate Crisis.
Sarah Ferris reported last night that the DCCC chair, Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), a conservative Democrat himself, is helping Pelosi pressure the weak links among the nine from the Republican wing of the party.
[S]ome of those centrists who received calls from either Maloney or his staff-- who already face some of the toughest races in the country next November-- said they also took his comments to mean that their own fundraising help from the party would be at risk. And while they said there was no direct threat to withhold DCCC funds, those Democrats said the warning was implied.
“At no point did the chairman or others threaten resources,” according to a person at DCCC familiar with the discussions, who declined to speak on the record because the calls were private.
The person added that DCCC is "not shy about telling anyone that we think passing Biden's agenda is critical to our success" in keeping the majority.
The calls from DCCC are the latest evidence of the Democratic leadership’s high-stakes whipping operation to bring those centrist holdouts aboard next week’s budget vote. Without their votes, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team wouldn’t have enough support to advance the budget and allow committees to begin drafting the bill-- at least temporarily derailing Biden’s social spending plan.
The moderates’ threat, which came in the form of a public missive last week, has rankled many of their fellow Democrats, who see it as an unnecessary distraction from Biden’s economic agenda. With such slim margins, Democrats can’t afford to lose more than three of their members on the vote.
But that group of holdouts, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, has argued there would be even greater political consequences if the House delays approving a popular infrastructure bill that has already cleared the Senate.
Pelosi has vowed the House will not vote on the Senate-passed bill until both chambers approve Biden's broader spending plan. That two-track approach, she said, is the only way to guarantee enough progressive votes for the more narrow infrastructure bill.
Senior Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, have also been making calls to moderates in recent days, as well as White House legislative affairs officials. Biden himself has not made calls, though several moderates believe he will be more involved ahead of the vote next week.
Please consider contributing the progressive Democrats taking on Blue Dog incumbents in 2022, like Henry Cuellar nemesis Jessica Cisneros and Michael Ortega, who is challenging Blue Dog co-chair Lou Correa in the bluest part of Orange County.You can tap on the 2022 Primary a Blue Dog thermometer above and contribute what you can to the candidate or candidates of your choice. I expect that we will be adding alternatives to Gottheimer, Schrader and Costa very soon.