The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a new interview there will be no litmus test on abortion for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.
“There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” Rep. Ben Ray Luján told the Hill in an interview published Monday. “As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.”
Luján, who chairs the Democratic Party’s campaign arm in the House, said that the DCCC will not withhold funds from pro-life candidates who deviate from the party on abortion issues. This is contrary to what Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said back in April.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.
Luján’s statements have upset pro-choice advocates. Mitchell Stille, who manages campaigns for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Luján’s decision is “bad politics.”
“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” Stille said. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”
Democratic leaders are split on the issue.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) disagreed with Perez and said the Democratic Party needs to be more inclusive in order to win more elections.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) appeared to agree with Perez. Durbin said that Democrats can personally be pro-life, but when it comes to legislation they have to be pro-choice.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) tried to appease both sides by saying that the Democratic Party is a “big tent party”—but also a “strongly pro-choice party.”
Democrats need to win 24 seats to take control of the House in 2018.
(First reported by The Washington Free Bacon)http://freebeacon.com/issues/dccc-chairman-abortion-wont-litmus-test-democrats/ (July 31, 2017)
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