Members and aides are privately seething over what they see as Pelosi’s latest attempt to stack the deck against Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who is running for ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee against Pelosi’s closest friend and fellow Californian, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo.
And many members are concerned about the optics of not allowing Duckworth a proxy vote when Democrats are supposed to be the party that fights for women. Democrats have tried to make electoral gains by touting the “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” economic agenda.
“Our party should be the party that stands up for women,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said in a caucus meeting Tuesday morning, according to a source in the room.
A source also said that civil-rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis was fighting Pelosi’s refusal: “We will pay a price for not doing this,” he reportedly said.