Several Democratic lawmakers came out in support of Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosGOP pulls support from California House candidate over ‘unacceptable’ social media posts Republican flips House seat in California special election GOP’s Don Bacon and challenger neck and neck in Democratic poll MORE (D-Ill.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), after outrage over a lack of diversity at the top rungs of the group raised questions about her leadership.
A DCCC aide told The Hill that Bustos spent Tuesday on the phone with vulnerable “frontline” lawmakers up for reelection, as well as members of the “Tri-caucuses,” which represent the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American lawmakers.
Several of the Democrats released statements of support on Wednesday morning, saying they’re convinced that Bustos is taking the diversity push seriously at the DCCC and that the House Democratic campaign arm can move on with her as chairwoman.
“I am glad to see Chairwoman Bustos hear the concerns of her colleagues and tackle issues of diversity and inclusion head on, so we can build on that,” Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondMore than 6000 attend George Floyd’s Houston viewing States plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice MORE (D-La.), a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement.
“She’s taking the issues head on, having these tough conversations, and I look forward to being a partner in her work to ensure the DCCC’s leadership reflects the diversity of our caucus, our party and of our country,” he added.
Five senior members of the DCCC resigned Monday after black and Hispanic lawmakers demanded that more people of color represent the organization in top staff positions.
The departures left the House Democratic campaign arm in turmoil, and several former staffers told The Hill that Bustos’s position as chairwoman was imperiled unless she could rally support from the lawmakers who elected her to lead the DCCC.
“After speaking with Chairwoman Bustos, I’m confident she understands the importance of this mission and is working with our Caucus to bring in diverse, talented perspectives to the DCCC leadership team,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I will help her achieve this goal as we defend our Democratic majority and continue to deliver results for the American people.”
The shake-up came at a critical moment for the DCCC, which is focused on protecting the 36 vulnerable “frontline” lawmakers up for reelection in 2020.
The DCCC is also trying to close the deal on a new class of recruits to run against Republican incumbents, and there were fears that the chaos might dampen enthusiasm from some of the party’s most coveted potential challengers.
Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what ‘policing’ means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: David Miliband says world won’t be safe until poor nations get more aid; Cuomo rips WHO MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the Frontline program and of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said Bustos “has heard the concerns of our diverse caucus and is taking action to address these issues head on.”
“Chairwoman Bustos understands that task and will continue to grow and defend our Democratic majority,” Bera said.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Bustos has his “full support and confidence,” while Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyDemocrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 Harris pushes for task force addressing racial disparities in coronavirus pandemic Collecting and reporting ethnicity stats on COVID-19 matters for the health of everyone MORE (D-Ill.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Bustos expressed “her strong desire to get this right.”
“I believe she is committed to an inclusive and diverse DCCC,” Kelly said. “I am committed to working with Cheri and anyone who seeks to lead in a way that is inclusive and representative of our experience as Americans.”
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