The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will consider a member’s resolution this week that calls on independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (Vt) and Angus KingAngus KingSenator suggests law enforcement used ‘excessive force’ in Lafayette Square incident Trump administration could pursue drilling near Florida coast post-election: report Hillicon Valley: Chinese tech groups caught in rising US-China tensions | Senator questions controversial facial recognition group on use during protests | Study finds vulnerabilities in online voting system used by several states MORE (Maine) to run as Democrats in 2018.
The resolution, sponsored by California DNC member Bob Mulholland, lauds both senators’ contributions “to key Democratic caucuses,” but argues that the DNC has to focus on electing Democrats up and down the ticket.
“Therefore, be it resolved, that the DNC recognizes the important contributions of the independent Senators from Maine and Vermont to causes at the heart of the Democratic party’s mission and urge them to run as Democrats,” the draft of the resolution states, before calling on “candidates and voters who share common goals and beliefs with Democrats to register or affiliate with the Democratic party in 2017, 2018 and beyond.”
“A strong and unified Democratic party with strong candidates from diverse backgrounds puts us in the best position to win elections up and down the ticket in 2018 and beyond,” the draft adds.
The push is indicative of the unease of some of the party leadership over Sanders’s decision to not identify as a Democrat despite his leadership role within the party.
Sanders’s presidential bid as a Democrat raised his profile among voters and within the party, translating to a Democratic leadership role in the Senate and clout within the party as it began to coalesce around “Medicare for all,” one of Sanders’s signature issues.
While he regularly caucuses with the party, he has declined to declare himself a Democrat, arguing that party affiliation is less important to voters who feel increasingly frustrated with the country’s institutions.
But that’s also frustrated some Democrats who believe Sanders should fully commit to the party in which he plays such a large role.
It’s unclear whether the resolution will pass out of the DNC’s resolutions committee, which meets Friday during the DNC’s fall meeting in Las Vegas. If it were to do so with a majority vote of the smaller committee, it would head to the full DNC for another vote the next day.