Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)

Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) speaks to reporters, as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) looks on, following a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center on June 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Centrist Dems' New PAC Seen as Effort to Stop 'Squad' From Growing

The new political action committee appears to be "a corporate funded incumbent protection racket," said one progressive observer.

Andrea Germanos

New reporting out Saturday on the creation of a political action committee by a group of moderate House Democrats is being criticized by progressives as an effort to "protect corporate interests" and put a cap on the so-called Squad.

The new political action committee (PAC) is called Team Blue, as NBC News reported. Its May filing with the Federal Election Committee was noted last month by Politico Influence.

Team Blue, according to NBC News, "will help those who might be in safe seats for the party but facing a primary challenger," such as Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

The PAC is being established by Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, who told the outlet, "This effort to protect our members is an extension of my job as caucus chair." The two other lawmakers behind the PAC are Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Terri Sewell of Alabama. Gottheimer and Sewell, as NBC noted, "represent the more moderate factions of the Democratic caucus, which are more likely to see primaries from the left."

Max Berger, a political organizer who previously worked on Cori Bush's 2018 congressional campaign and with Justice Democrats—the PAC that helped elect progressive Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—said in a tweet that it's an effort "to keep [the] Squad from growing." 

Saying the new PAC should be called "Injustice Democrats," Berger said it represented "a corporate funded incumbent protection racket."

A similar assessment came from Waleed Shahid, a spokesperson for Justice Democrats. "Democratic Party leadership has launched a PAC to stop the Squad from growing any further," he wrote in a Twitter thread in which he pointed to Jeffries' own start in the U.S. Congress by "primarying an incumbent Democrat."

Both Shahid and Rana Abdelhamid—who's running for Maloney's 12th Congressional District seat—shared NBC News' reporting by referencing comments Jeffries back in 2011 when he launched his challenge to then-Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York. "The incumbent has had 29 years to make a difference,” Jeffries at the time of Towns. "At this point, it's time to move in another direction."

The group of progressive members of Congress known as the Squad grew this year with newcomers including Democratic Congressmen Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones, both of New York. Their wins might be a motivating factor for the new PAC, tweeted the New York City chapter of the Sunrise Movement.

"When you can't stand that your district keeps electing Green New Deal proponents on the city and state level," the group wrote. "Primary season comes every 2 years, Rep. Jeffries."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

UN Agency Condemns 'Homophobic and Racist' Monkeypox Reporting

"Stigma hurts everyone," says one ranking UNAIDS official. "Shared science and social solidarity help everyone."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Tax the Rich,' Say Millionaire Activists Protesting at Davos Amid Record Wealth, Inequality

"As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth my whole life I know how skewed our economy is and I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone, somewhere, to do something," said one demonstrator.

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Group Urges Civilian Safeguards as Biden Sends Troops Back to Somalia

"A culture of impunity for civilian loss breeds resentment and mistrust among the population and undermines efforts to build a more rights-respecting state," Human Rights Watch's regional director asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Australian Progressives Hail 'Greenslide' Amid Big Left Wins and Morrison's Ouster

"People have backed the Greens in record numbers and delivered a massive mandate for action on climate and inequality," said party leader Adam Bandt.

Brett Wilkins ·


Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo