Progressives who recruited now-U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to run for Congress are plotting to unseat Democrats who aren’t far-left enough. U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are at the top of the list for the sin of opposing, at least for now, the elimination of the legislative filibuster.
The No Excuses Political Action Committee (PAC), which already has launched a search for candidates to run against Manchin and Sinema (who aren’t up for reelection until 2024), plus other Democrats perceived as moderates, was launched by AOC allies Saikat Chakrabarti, Corbin Trent, and Zack Exley. The group seems confident they can raise millions of dollars in this effort to find and train what they consider viable candidates.
The group also plans to run ads warning the two senators that they will be primaried unless they go along with dumping the filibuster, which would allow a Big Government, tax-and-spend socialist agenda to go forward and possibly enshrine it into law.
“The only real way to pressure any of these folks and hold them accountable to their promises is to threaten their power, and threaten the seat that they hold and threaten their reelection We sort of have this theory that the voters in Arizona and the voters in West Virginia would care more about action, they care more about jobs and their community and money in their pockets than they do about an arcane Senate rule called the filibuster,” Chakrabarti, who was once AOC’s chief of staff, told Politico. “Pressuring them in 2022 when Dems may no longer have a majority won’t do much.”
Chuck Schumer could also be on the hot seat because the left-wing group has not ruled out challenging him. “It’s one of the tools in the chest of holding Democrats accountable,” Chakrabarti noted. AOC herself has been somewhat coy about whether she would primary Schumer in 2022.
Establishment Democrats claim that AOC has no chance to send Schumer into retirement, but it is New York after all, so common sense suggests that no one should underestimate her chances if she goes for it, especially given her huge social media following.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 27, 2020
Representing the very red state of West Virginia, pro-filibuster Joe Manchin, in particular, is in a very influential position to enable or least theoretically enable bipartisanship in the 50-50 Senate as a swing vote. This means that Manchin has a really enviable gig at the moment, along with Sinema (narrowly elected in Arizona over ex-U.S. Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally), who tends more to go along with the party line in most instances.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 3, 2021
Democrats have a habit of falling in line at crunch time, so it remains to be seen if Manchin holds to his vow of bipartisanship or is just paying lip service to it.
Under current Senate rules, bills in most circumstances (absent some procedural chicanery) can’t move forward unless at least 60 senators give it a green light for a final up-or-down vote.
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