Jim Clyburn And Congressional Black Caucus Side With Swamp Establishment, Endorse Eliot Engel Over Jamaal Bowman

Jim Clyburn And Congressional Black Caucus Side With Swamp Establishment, Endorse Eliot Engel Over Jamaal Bowman

Jim Clyburn and the Congressional Black Caucus side with swamp establishment and endorse Eliot Engel over progressive Jamaal Bowman in NY race. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Jamaal Bowman during his campaign launch at the Bronx on June 18, 2019. Photo: Corey Torpie Photography/Courtesy of Jamaal Bowman For Congress.

Some are saying that House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are taking the easy way by endorsing pro-Israel stalwart Eliot Engel over progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman in the tight New York primary race for a congressional seat.

No. 3 House Democrat Clyburn and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries have announced their endorsement of the incumbent Engel, who has represented New York’s 16th congressional district for 16 terms.

“Let me be blunt. We need leaders in Congress with proven records of standing up for civil and human rights,” Clyburn said Sunday. “Eliot Engel is not new to the fight for justice and equality — he’s been in the fight his entire life, and I have worked with him on these issues for almost three decades.”

Clyburn’s endorsements tend to carry some weight. His recent  endorsement of Joe Biden helped the presidential candidate to victory in the South Carolina primary, essentially turning around his campaign.

“The endorsements emphasize how the race has become a battle between the establishment, which is traditionally more pro-Israel, and the insurgent progressive movement,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also come out in support of Engel.

Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has come out in support of progressive challenger Bowman. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also endorsed Bowman, 44, a father of three and middle school principal, to take over Engel’s seat. 

There may be other reasons for Clyburn’s support of Engel. Both are pushing for a sweeping police reform bill that’s been promoted by the Democrats in response to the national outrage over the police killing of George Floyd, Politico reported.

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead prosecutor in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, also came out for Engel. Engel’s leadership as Foreign Affairs Committee chairman was “invaluable” during Democrats’ investigation into whether the president abused the power of his office, Schiff told Politico. Engel has been outspoken against the Trump administration.

“Ever since Trump took office, Eliot has helped expose the abuses of his administration, and hold this lawless president accountable,” Schiff continued. “Eliot is a dedicated and talented public servant who knows how to get things done for the people of his district, while working diligently to protect our democracy. He has my full support for his reelection.”

Bowman has been endorsed by the New York Times, the Justice Democrats and MoveOn, among others. He said he has seen firsthand how low-income families are locked out of opportunities by a system rigged for the wealthy and privileged few.

Born and raised in New York City, Bowman spent his early years in public housing in a loving, stable home with a sense of community.

He said his approach to being a teacher and principal at a Bronx middle school has been “grounded in service, love, and empowering each person to transform our communities.” In the past 10 years, he has led community organizing efforts against the school-to-prison pipeline, standardized testing and the “corporate-driven privatization and chronic underfunding of public schools.”

Engel and Bowman face off on June 23.