A leaked congressional election committee call between the Democrats on Thursday revealed growing tensions between the party’s more progressive wing and moderate lawmakers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a strong message to her colleagues that a swing to the left would cost the party its chances if runoffs were held in the Georgian Senate – an opportunity that could give the Democrats a draw with the Republicans in the Senate if both Democratic candidates win state seats. To win a majority in the Senate, the Democrats would have to win a seat in either Alaska or North Carolina. However, if the election results in a 50-50 split, Kamala Harris or Mike Pence would be the deciding vote as vice president.
But messages that some Democrats are “too” progressive have been pushed back by congressmen hoping for far-reaching changes.
Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, in calling for the party to “do a real autopsy and dig through it” before attacking each other, said the party must “do a real autopsy and dig through it.
Tlaib, who was re-elected this year, is a member of four progressive congressmen known as “The Squad.
During the appeal, Abigail Spanberger of Congresswoman Virginia Abigail blamed the more progressive legislators for races the party had lost in the general election.
“Don’t blame me and others who fight on issues that matter to our communities,” Tlaib said.
Tlaib was elected from the “Squad” in the 2018 midterm elections alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley. All four won their re-election on Tuesday.
The group is known for its commitment to more progressive policies such as the Green New Deal and for its support for police defense amidst the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer.
“No one should ever say ‘disarm the police’ again,” Spanberger shouted in the leaked appeal. “No one should talk about socialism.”
Spanberger, who won the re-election by a narrow margin of 0.2 percentage points, called the election result a “failure” and told other Democrats: “We have lost races that we should not have lost.
She added that if progressives continue to use this rhetoric, “We will be torn apart in 2022 f—–g.
Tlaib urged other democratic legislators to wait until all the numbers are added up before making statements that appeal to certain people.
“They called Obama worse. They called him a Muslim, a socialist, you can blame those words, but if it wasn’t on BLM, it would have been something else,” said the Michigan congresswoman.
Pelosi disagreed with Spanberger, noting that the Democrats would have kept the House on Tuesday night and would likely be presided over by President Donald Trump once all the ballots were counted.
Pelosi urged members to address any complaints directly to them.
“I hope that any of you who have something to report or give feedback will contact me,” she said in the appeal.
House Democrats did not do as well as they expected on election day, losing seven seats in battlegrounds including Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico and Iowa.
Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell, who lost her race in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, became aware of the call when she told Democrats to stay united and not attack each other on Twitter.
Congresswoman Donna Shalala, the other congresswoman who lost her seat in South Florida, said she did not blame the top Democrats for her defeat and said, “The leadership was excellent and I have no complaints.
It was not expected that Shalala would lose her race against Republican Maria Salazar.
The three elected progressive representatives, Cori Bush from Missouri, Jamaal Bowman from New York and Marie Newman from Illinois, will join the Democrats in Washington D.C. in January.
In 2018, we helped elect @AOC, @AyannaPressley, @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib.
In 2020 we voted for @JamaalBowmanNY, @CoriBush and @Marie4Congress.
We are creating a Democratic Party that stands up for and fights for the working people.
The party is here to stay – and it is growing. pic.twitter.com/yeuEmLy2pj
– Justice Democrats (@justicedems) September 28, 2020
When information from the appeal leaked to the press, California Congressman Jared Huffman called on his fellow Democrats to remain silent.