October 20, 2023

New Democrat Coalition Weekly Wrap 10/20/2023

Press Release

New Dem Chair Statement on Extremist Jim Jordan Failing for a Third Time to Secure Votes to Become House Speaker, Calls for Bipartisan Path Forward

Today, New Democrat Coalition Chair Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement after Jim Jordan’s failure to secure enough votes to become Speaker of the House, again: 

“Jim Jordan’s intimidation campaign continues to fail. For three rounds of votes, Jordan has been bleeding, not gaining support. Since ousting the former Speaker nearly three weeks ago, the GOP Conference has only caused more chaos as Republicans have repeatedly failed to unite 217 of their Members around a candidate. 

“Throughout this entire process, Democrats have remained united around Leader Jeffries and have consistently called on Republicans to work with us on building a bipartisan coalition that will allow Congress to get back to the business of governing and delivering real results for the American people. 

“As New Dems, we wholeheartedly believe in bridging the gap between parties to craft durable policies that will improve Americans’ lives. But the House GOP continues to choose hyper-partisanship over governance. 

“Republicans cannot continue down this path. Once and for all, they must join Democrats at the table to find an agreement that moves Congress and the country forward, not backward. 

“It’s time for responsible Republicans to finally accept our olive branch and put an end to the chaos, so we can get back to work for the American people. The world is watching and waiting–– there’s no time to waste.” Read the release

New Dems in the News

The GOP-led House is in chaos. Bipartisanship is the only path forward.

By New Dem Chair Annie Kuster (NH-02)

As the world faces new and ongoing threats to peace and democracy — from the war in Ukraine to the violent terrorist attacks on Israel — the United States should stand as a beacon of hope and freedom. Yet, Republican chaos in the House of Representatives is threatening our global standing.

The American people and U.S. allies deserve better than the chaos of House Republican leadership. Over the last two weeks, the House has convened for less than 20 minutes. Without a Speaker, we cannot vote on critical military and humanitarian aid to our allies and legislation to fund our government for the next year. Through it all, Democrats have stood ready to work across the aisle to pave a path forward. Yet, the GOP has, time and again, refused to come to the table.

This is unacceptable. The House needs to get back to work, and the only way to move past the dysfunction is to change course by reforming the institution to allow for bipartisan progress.

Now, the GOP Conference plans to move forward with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as their nominee after their first choice, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), was forced to withdraw his bid just two days after winning the nomination due to Republican infighting.

Let me be clear: hyper-partisan lawmakers who stoked the chaos and division that has paralyzed the House of Representatives for months and led to the Jan. 6 attack on our U.S. Capitol have no place serving as Speaker. That includes Jim Jordan... Read the full op-ed

New Dem Eric Sorensen Talks to CBS News about House Speaker's Race, U.S. Support for Ukraine and Israel


Rep. Eric Sorensen (IL-17) joined CBS News to discuss the latest in the chaotic race for Speaker of the House and recap last night's speech from President Biden emphasizing the importance of defending democracy in Ukraine and Israel and providing humanitarian aid and support to Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Watch Eric on CBS

Support for Israel in Congress is Steadfast

By New Dem Vice Chair for Communications Brad Schneider (IL-10)

On Oct. 7, Hamas, the terrorist group governing Gaza, started a war against Israel with a barbaric attack targeting civilian communities across southern Israel. More than 1,400 civilians were gruesomely slaughtered, including 260 young people attending a peace concert and entire families hiding in their homes, many burned alive.

Bone-chilling stories of rape, torture, kidnappings and beheadings have been reported, and, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, were “worse than what I saw with (the Islamic State).” At least 27 American citizens are confirmed killed, and another 14 remain unaccounted for. Families have been torn apart, including in our community. I have heard from many friends in Israel who have lost loved ones and seen unspeakable horrors.

Oct. 7 has been called Israel’s 9/11, but Hamas is not halfway around the world like al-Qaida. Rather, it is entrenched on Israel’s border. There can be no peace for the Palestinians and Israelis as long as Hamas controls Gaza and remains a threat to Israel.

It’s important to recognize that Hamas has oppressed the Palestinians over whom they rule for decades before this unspeakable attack. Rather than building schools, hospitals and industry to lift up their own people, Hamas built a terrorist army to destroy Israel and kill Jews. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the Palestinian people.

And let me be clear. Israel has not only the right but also the obligation to defend itself. Israel must protect its citizens, secure its borders and rescue its captives, no matter how long it takes. And Israel must destroy Hamas’ ability to ever again attack Israel like it did on Oct. 7, the worst day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

The United States, Congress and the American people stand resolutely with Israel. That has been clearly and beautifully articulated by President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Austin. It has been demonstrated by the immediate assistance the United States has provided Israel, including munitions and Iron Dome interceptors and positioning U.S. ships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Our relationship with Israel is ironclad. Support for Israel in Congress is steadfast. Read the full op-ed


Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) went on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC to discuss the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war and the race for Speaker of the House.

Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03) talked to CBS Boston about the dysfunction within the House Republican conference and how Democrats have been repeatedly called upon to save the U.S. from the brink of catastrophe–– from avoiding default to keeping the government open.

Rep. Kathy Manning (NC-06) talked to ABC News Live following President Biden's speech outlining what is at stake in the wars in Israel and Ukraine. 

Member Legislation

Kilmer, Connolly Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Federal Employees Retire on Time
Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) reintroduced H.R. 5995, the Federal Retirement Fairness Act (FRFA), legislation to address a gap for federal employees who began their careers as temporary workers and were thus unable to make retirement contributions. The FRFA will allow these workers to make catch-up contributions to ensure they can retire as planned. In the absence of this provision, many face an unfair choice: exit the federal service without complete retirement benefits or delay retirement to achieve full benefits.

Larsen Leads over 100 House Democrats in Introducing the Clean Water Act of 2023
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) introduced H.R. 5893, the Clean Water Act of 2023. This legislation undoes the damage from the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision by reinstating the historic and bipartisan, federal-state partnership that has protected our rivers, streams, and wetlands for over 50 years; by establishing a clear, level playing field for businesses and industries to thrive while protecting critical natural resources; and ensuring clean water for families and communities.

McBath, Mrvan, Manning Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Workforce Development Bill
Reps. Lucy McBath (GA-07), Frank Mrvan (IN-01), and Kathy Manning (NC-06) introduced H.R. 5987, the Adult Education Workforce Opportunity and Reskilling for Knowledge and Success (WORKS) Act. This bipartisan bill would support American workers and expand economic opportunity and mobility for millions by investing in adult education. At current funding levels, adult education programs serve about 1.1 million people, while there are 43 million adults who stand to benefit from literacy programs and 62.7 million in need of numeracy programs. 

New Dems in Action

NextGen NewDems Hold October Meeting to Discuss Professional Development on Capitol Hill


This week, NextGen NewDems held their monthly meeting where staff heard from a panel of New Dem Chiefs of Staff and NextGen Co-Chair Greg Landsman (OH-01) to discuss professional development opportunities on Capitol Hill and pathways to advance from junior to senior-level staff. The NextGen NewDem Staff Academy was launched last month with the goal of equipping the next generation of senior-level Hill staffers with the training they need to grow as leaders and advocates.

New Dems welcome Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein to Weekly Member Lunch


Yesterday, New Dems welcomed Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernsteinto our weekly Member lunch. Our Members had a productive conversation with Bernstein about the state of the U.S. economy and what more needs to build an economy that works for all Americans.

New Dem Workforce Development and National Security Task Forces Hold Joint Roundtable on the Defense Workforce 


Yesterday, New Dem Workforce Development Task Force Chair Kathy Manning (NC-06) and National Security Task Force Chair Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) convened a joint roundtable with stakeholders from the defense industry for a wide-ranging conversation related to the defense industry workforce, including apprenticeships, internships, recruiting, upskilling, gaining security clearance and program access, partnerships with academic institutions, and submarine and shipbuilding training pipelines.