Nancy Pelosi Just Endorsed a Congressman Who Opposes Abortion and Gay Rights

Dan Lipinski even voted against Obamacare.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski’s career is on life-support. The seven-term congressman from the Chicago area, who inherited his seat from his father, is facing a formidable primary challenge from businesswoman Marie Newman, whose campaign has been fueled by progressive anger at Lipinski’s opposition to reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and Obamacare. EMILY’s List, the national organization that supports pro-choice women candidates, has backed Newman and, along with a host of progressive groups—including Planned Parenthood and the pro-LGBT rights Human Rights Campaign—has spent heavily on ads against Lipinski:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo84pMMgI44

Elected Democrats—including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and fellow Chicago-area Rep. Jan Schakowsky—have waded into the primary to back Newman. And in an unusual step for a race with a Democratic incumbent, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had declined to endorse Lipinski.

But on Thursday, less than three weeks before the March 20 primary, Lipinski did pick up one notable supporter: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi has shown a greater tolerance for Blue Dog Democrats than others in her caucus have. When progressives criticized the DCCC for refusing to apply a reproductive rights litmus test to 2018 candidates—it never has—Pelosi insisted there was room in the party for anti-abortion candidates. “This is the Democratic Party, this is not a rubber-stamp party,” she told the Washington Post.

Notably, Pelosi is showing Lipinski a degree of loyalty that the congressman has never extended to her—Lipinski has routinely voted against Pelosi for minority leader. After helping elect Pelosi speaker of the house in 2009, he voted against her in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Notably, he was also a major impediment to Pelosi’s top legislative accomplishment—the Affordable Care Act—and was one of only a few blue-district Democrats to vote against the measure.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.