The Democratic Party House Majority leader pushes for a ‘big tent’ party…
The Democrats’ tent is big enough to include anti-abortion lawmakers, the No. 2 House Democrat said Wednesday.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) emphasized that Democrats are overwhelmingly in favor of women’s right to terminate a pregnancy. But there’s no litmus test, he said, that would exclude those lawmakers who feel otherwise.
“Absolutely, there’s room in our party,” Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not a pro-choice party — we are,” he said, adding that this has been included in the Democratic platform.
“But that doesn’t mean that … either the Speaker or I believe that we ought to exclude people who have a different view,” Hoyer said.
The comments came a day after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed a liberal Democrat, Marie Newman, who’s launched a primary challenge against Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), an eight-term Catholic lawmaker with a long voting record opposing abortion rights.
“We can’t afford deep blue seats fighting against healthcare & equal rights,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday in endorsing Newman.
Lipinski is no stranger to such opposition. In last year’s midterm cycle he faced a similar challenge from Newman, who won endorsements from a pair of Lipinski’s Chicagoland colleagues: Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). This year, Newman is also being backed by several liberal presidential candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Lawmaker endorsements against sitting colleagues is exceptionally rare, and both Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) have adopted a policy of backing the party’s incumbents without exception.