Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) legislative assistant Dan Riffle, who goes by "Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure" on Twitter, said on Thursday that Progressive Caucus members should stop paying dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over its new policy to ban consultants from working with primary challengers if they want to do business with the DCCC.
"The simple and obvious solution here is for Progressive Caucus members to stop paying dues to the @DCCC. The DCCC is not an organization that backs any Democrat," Riffle tweeted. "They work to elect a certain kind of Democrat, and if you aren't that kind of Democrat why are you giving them money?"
"I mean @justicedems helped elect several Democrats last cycle. Still, not every Democrat gives them support. Nor should they! Just like DCCC, Justice Dems only backs certain kinds of Democrats," Riffle continued on Twitter. "Those who don't share their policy views shouldn't share their money. Same for DCCC."
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.), the new chairwoman of the DCCC, announced a new policy last week that attempts to protect incumbent Democrats from primary challengers by banning Democratic consultants from working with primary challengers if they wanted to continue doing business with DCCC. Bustos argues that the new policy isn't specifically targeting progressives and that she isn't punishing consultants for their past work with incumbents, but progressives aren't convinced.
Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D.,Wash), and caucus member Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) met with Bustos on Wednesday to voice their opposition against the new policy and demanded that it be reversed, but Bustos said she would not change the policy, according to Politico.
While Bustos hasn't showed signs that she will be reversing the policy, Pocan told Politico he believes they are still having an "open conversation" and "there’s more to come" with their conversation.
"Let's be clear. If this policy remains in place, it will mean that we will not allow new Ayanna Pressleys or AOCs to emerge. It's simply wrong," Khanna told the Intercept. "It's also hypocritical for a party that champions strong antitrust. The DCCC is acting as a monopoly by saying that anyone who does business with them can't do business with any competition. It's the classic antitrust violation and an unfair restraint on trade. Many progressives in Congress will fight until this rule is changed. We stand for reform in Congress and reform of the Democratic Party machinery to make sure they prioritize our voters and the grassroots."
Ocasio-Cortez, who is often referred to as AOC, has been very vocal about her opposition to the policy and has retweeted some of Khana's tweets against it. She also told reporters on Wednesday that "primaries are often the only way that under-represented and working class people are able to have a shot at pursuing elected office," referring to herself.
This isn't the first time that Riffle has been critical of the Democratic establishment. Last month, he took a shot at Democratic staffers looking to get cushy jobs as lobbyists instead of wanting to "burn" the political system down.