|RootsAction.org is releasing a report about 15 of the most problematic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of them -- Henry Cuellar -- is currently your congressperson.
As the report outlines, it’s time for a change.
Please read this excerpt from Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to be “Primaried” -- and share it with people in your area:
HENRY CUELLAR (TX-28)
Henry Cuellar is in his fifteenth year of representing a south Texas district that’s now two-thirds Hispanic. Yet, mis-representing this thoroughly Democratic district (which went for Clinton over Trump by a margin of 20 percent), Cuellar voted with Trump 68.8 percent of the time in 2017-18 as calculated by FiveThirtyEight -- including on bills weakening the Dodd-Frank Act, privatizing veterans’ healthcare and opposing a carbon tax. No Democrat in Congress had a higher vote-with-Trump score than Cuellar; none had a higher ranking in 2018 from the US Chamber of Commerce.
Although nominally a Democrat, he is close to Texas Republicans like former Governor Rick Perry, now Trump’s Secretary of Energy. Cuellar crossed party lines to endorse George W. Bush for president in 2000. He’s one of the rare Democrats to receive Koch Industries PAC funding, including a donation in 2019.
Roughly 25 percent of Cuellar’s constituents live below the poverty line, and Cuellar often votes to make their lives more difficult. In 2015, for example, he was one of only a dozen Democrats who voted with Republicans to eliminate Obamacare coverage for employees who work 30 to 39 hours a week. Last year, he supported a bill that would result in a $3 wage cut for agricultural guest workers, to $8.34 an hour.
On immigration, Cuellar is also out of touch with a district in which 22 percent of residents are foreign-born (almost all from Latin America). In 2014, Cuellar joined Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn in launching a bill to speed up deportation of unaccompanied minors from Central America, allowing border patrol agents to turn away vulnerable children at the border. (Fox News hailed Cuellar for his “hardline talk” and for being “One of Obama’s Biggest Critics on Border Crisis.”) In 2017, he was one of 11 House Democrats who voted with Republicans to allow the government to deport or detain immigrants “suspected” of gang membership, even if never arrested for any crime.
Cuellar has regularly voted to restrict abortion rights. Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood Action Fund rank him among the worst Democrats on women’s reproductive health.
Cuellar has a lifetime environmental ranking of 42 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, the second-lowest among all Democrats in the House.
While Cuellar’s district includes urban areas like Laredo and part of San Antonio, he votes in line with the NRA, which gave him 93 percent ratings in both 2016 and 2018; he also collects checks from the NRA Political Victory Fund, leading to headlines like this: “Meet the Last NRA Democrat.”
Cuellar's vote-like-a-Republican dance is an old routine. What’s new is that he’s facing a progressive primary challenger -- immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros, endorsed by Justice Democrats.
Feel free to forward this email to local news outlets.
The full Bad Blues report can be read here at BadBlues.org.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.