Canceled Fundraiser Highlights Tension Over Whether There’s Room In Democratic Party For Anti-Abortion Lawmakers
Rep. Cheri Bustos, the chairwoman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, pulled out of a fundraiser for Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) because of his anti-abortion stance. The move highlights a growing sense that abortion is a litmus test for Democrats as the country heads into the 2020 elections.
The New York Times:
Canceled Fund-Raiser Prompts Question: Can A Democrat Oppose Abortion?
A top Democratic official on Wednesday canceled a planned fund-raiser for an anti-abortion congressman that had prompted an outcry among progressives, raising the question of whether there is room left in the party for lawmakers who oppose abortion at a moment when numerous Republican-controlled states are trying to effectively outlaw the procedure. The decision by Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, underscored the extent to which support for abortion rights has become a central litmus test for Democrats in the aftermath of President Trump’s two appointments to the Supreme Court. (Martin, 5/22)
The Washington Post:
Top Democrat Cancels Event For Anti-Abortion House Colleague
Lipinski is one of the last congressional Democrats to oppose abortion rights. Normally, a top Democrat appearing at one of his fundraisers would be little noticed, but abortion issues are incredibly fraught as some conservative states move to outlaw abortion in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. With that backdrop, there’s little tolerance among those who want to protect abortion rights for a politician who doesn’t. “I’m proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I’m deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women’s access to reproductive care in several states,” Bustos said in a statement Wednesday night. (Itkowitz, 5/22)
DCCC Chief Cancels Fundraiser In Snub To Anti-Abortion Democrat
Bustos stands by the policy and has given no indication that she will reverse course, which has continue to irritate the caucus's left flank, particularly lawmakers who, themselves, ousted more moderate incumbent Democrats. “It’s a smart move and I’m glad she listening to progressive voices,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who has sharply criticized Bustos’ for her handling of the vendor policy. “I appreciate that Cheri has shown a willingness to listen and change. I hope she’ll take the same approach on the vendor blacklist issue. I remain committed to sitting down with her and seeking a principled compromise.” (Ferris and Barron-Lopez, 5/22)