REPORT: Blue Coalition Boots Van Drew; Staffers Jump Ship

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Members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted on Tuesday to remove freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) from the centrist Democrat group, following news he plans to switch parties in coming days.

Reports that Van Drew, a vocal opponent of impeachment, was leaving the Democratic party broke over the weekend, sparking blowback from members of the caucus.

The article goes on to state the following:

“Today, the members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted to rescind Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s (D-N.J.) membership to the Coalition indefinitely,” a senior aide to the Blue Dog Coalition said.

“Per our bylaws, which require all members to be a member of the Democratic Party, Congressman Van Drew is no longer a member of the Blue Dog Coalition,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), co-chair for the administration of the Blue Dog Coalition, said in a statement.

Six if Van Drew’s former staffers have jumped ship, taking jobs with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The sudden shift sparked a number of his staffers to resign Sunday, along with offers to departing staffers from other wings of the Democratic Party,” The Hill reports. “A spokeswoman for the Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed that six of Van Drew’s former staffers would join the committee to work on short term projects. The hiring was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“In a letter to Allison Murphy, Van Drew’s chief of staff and senior aides wrote that Van Drew’s jump to the GOP ‘does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office,’ adding that they were ‘deeply saddened and disappointed by his decision.’”

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman, tweeted, “It’s right before the holidays and these staffers just quit their jobs to stand up for their Democratic values. We’ll bring them and others who leave on with the @dccc until they land new jobs that align with their values.”

President Donald J. Trump tweeted out support for Van Drew, writing, “Congressman Jeff Van Drew is very popular in our great and very united Republican Party. It was a tribute to him that he was able to win his heavily Republican district as a Democrat. People like that are not easily replaceable!”

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