Politics

Congressional Black Caucus Accuses Justice Democrats Of Trying To Unseat Black Lawmakers

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is accusing Justice Democrats of working to unseat black lawmakers.

CBC members say the Justice Democrats, a political action committee associated with the left wing of the Democratic Party, is targeting black House representatives in primary elections, according to The Hill.

Justice Democrats is supporting primary opponents of eight term Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and 10-term Missouri Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay — who is a member of the CBC. The Justice Democrats are also threatening to knock-off New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who is the chairman of the Democratic caucus, a CBC member and potential successor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (RELATED: 30-Year Democratic Congressman Gets Progressive Challenger Backed By Justice Democrats)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: U.S. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks as House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) listens during a news conference after a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. House Democrats gathered to discuss the Democratic agenda as the partial government shutdown enters day 19. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks as House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) listens during a news conference after a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

But the CBC doesn’t think it’s going to end there, as Justice Democrats seeks to oust anyone they don’t believe is sufficiently progressive to advance its agenda. The CBC leadership is concerned that other black Democrats in Congress could soon be under fire, including New York Rep. Yvette Clarke, Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown.

“It just seems strange that the social Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African-Americans are included and part of this process,” CBC leader and New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks told The Hill.

“I don’t know what that agenda is, but if they want to come after members of the Black Caucus, it’s two ways,”  Meeks added.

Ironically, the two Democratic congresswoman most identified with the Justice Democrats, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, could also face challengers in their upcoming primaries. Minnesota Democrats reportedly want Omar gone and Ocasio-Cortez has spoken of a “serious” primary challenge. She defeated former New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a huge political upset.

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a statement, Justice Democrats’ executive director, Alexandra Rojas, denied the group is targeting black members of Congress because it has backed Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, one of “the squad” of four progressives that have consistently bucked the establishment Democrats and whom House Speaker criticized this week for their constant sniping. (RELATED: Justice Democrats Spokesman Says New York Post’s 9/11 Cover Is ‘Dangerous’)

“We are supporting a black woman who is a community organizer who has taken on police brutality in the St. Louis area,” Rojas said, according to the Hill. “Seventy percent of congressional districts in America have no competitive general election; primaries are often the only places where voters can have a real say.”