House Democrats’ New Anti-Progressive PAC is Funded by Corporate Lobbyists and PACs

The group will spend money to protect incumbent Democrats in safe districts against progressive primary challengers.

House Democrats’ New Anti-Progressive PAC is Funded by Corporate Lobbyists and PACs
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) talks to reporters during a news conference on April 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A PAC formed last year by House Democrats to combat progressive primary challengers has so far relied almost exclusively on corporate PACs and lobbyists for its funding, according to a review of the group’s latest FEC disclosure report. 

Team Blue PAC was announced in June by three House members: Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, co-chair of the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus; and Terri Sewell of Alabama, former vice chair of the moderate New Democrat Coalition and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Team Blue PAC’s founders told NBC News its mission is to protect incumbents facing primaries in safe Democratic districts, where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee traditionally doesn’t focus its resources, engaging more in battleground districts.

“Team Blue PAC will support Democratic Members of the House who are facing strident electoral challenges, distortions of their record and ad hominem attacks,” the group’s website states. “Extremists and other outside forces will stop at nothing to divide our Caucus amid the uncertainty represented by a potentially tough redistricting process.”

So far, the group has spent money backing two Democratic incumbents: Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, who is being challenged by Justice Democrats-backed candidate Kina Collins, and Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, who is facing a primary from progressive candidate Amy Vilela. 

The PAC’s year-end report, released yesterday, shows that over half of the $152,000 it raised in the second half of 2021 came from PACs, largely in donations of the legal maximum of $5,000 from electric company NextEra Energy, Comcast, UBS Americas, UPS, New York Life Insurance Company, and others. The PACs of several trade associations also donated $5,000, including those representing the consumer credit industry, insurance agents and brokers, equipment manufacturers, and realtors. 

Many of Team Blue PAC’s individual donors work at D.C. lobbying firms, including:

  • Sarah Shive, partner at Capitol Tax Partners, whose lobbying clients include AbbVie, Marathon Petroleum, Meta, and Qualcomm.