The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is putting an end to its controversial consulting ban after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D-NY) ascension to the chairmanship.
The committee banned using political consultants who work with candidates trying to challenge sitting Democrat incumbents in primaries, making it harder for left-wing challengers to hire consultants that would campaign against establishment Democrats.
Maloney campaigned on reversing the policy, a promise he kept on Tuesday. The ban was put in place less than two years ago, during the last campaign cycle, and helped to block some progressive primary challengers.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) successfully primaried then-incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in 2018, who was part of the Democrat leadership at the time.
Shortly after the major establishment loss, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) put the ban in place.
Reportedly, the ban started to split the party into different factions: moderates who had helped win the majority and who feared challengers from the left; and the members of the Black and Hispanic congressional caucuses. The two groups saw multiple primary challenges in the last election.
Ocasio-Cortez has been a major backer in lifting the ban. She recently told Politico that doing so would be an “enormous win.” She further asserted it would be “a door for our party to leverage strength from all parts of it.”
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL), who successfully primaried a Democrat incumbent last election, had several of her consultants quit over the policy. “We have primaries to make sure we have the best and the brightest in every party,” she told Politico. “So primaries should be unencumbered by outside forces.”