DemDaily: Download on the DNC Summer Meeting

September 13, 2022 

A reinvigorated Democratic National Committee (DNC) met in National Harbor, Maryland last week, buoyed by a shift in the political landscape that has provided hope for holding on to Congress heading into the final stretch of the 2022 midterms.

The Summer meeting of over 1,000 national committee members, state party leaders, donors, press and guests at the Gaylord National Convention Center was headlined by visits from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, both of whom spoke passionately of the high-stakes in November.

DemDaily: Your Guide to the Democratic National Committee

Party Business
The official agenda was largely without controversy, reflecting the standard party business of resolutions, reports, council meetings and caucuses.

Be It Resolved
Resolutions are statements put forward by DNC members as affirmations of the national Party's positions and values. They are not officially enforceable, but a reflection of the party's overall agenda and priorities.

Among the nearly two dozen passed, were resolutions praising President Biden's leadership and his Administration's accomplishments in passing a historic agenda.

These include the American Rescue Plan, COVID response, healthcare funding, Infrastructure funding, the nomination of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, CHIPS and the Science Act, the veteran's PACT Act, the bipartisan Safer Communities Act to curb gun violence, the Inflation Reduction Act, deficit reduction, job growth, and student loan relief.

Additional resolutions reaffirmed commitments to reproductive justice, American workers, veterans, a humane immigration system, and addressing poverty, systemic racism, and the threat of nuclear weapons and exposure.

Among those that did not make it out of committee was a resolution calling for the Party's commitment to eliminating outside “Dark Money” during Democratic primary elections.

Millions have been spent in the midterm primaries by non-profit "special interest" organizations, which are not required to disclose their donors, to advocate for or against a candidate. Although a longstanding legal practice, a record amount has been spent this year in an effort to defeat progressive candidates challenging more moderate incumbents in the primaries.

Instead, a separate resolution was passed that more broadly condemns the use of dark money and encourages passage of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's (D-RI) DISCLOSE Act.

Also shelved was a resolution opposing a push by Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WVa) to overhaul the nation's permitting process for energy infrastructure. The resolution would have been at odds with Senate leadership who agreed to speed up the process in exchange for securing Manchin's vote for the Inflation Reduction Act, which tipped passage of the unprecedented climate and healthcare legislation.

Breaking Records: DNC Finance Chair Chris Korge reported that between January 2021 and July 2022, the DNC raised $255 million, more than any midterm cycle in history - with months still left to go. That includes over one million donors, 60% of which are women. "Teacher" was the number one reported occupation. DNC Treasurer Virginia McGregor reported on historic investments in state parties, grassroots infrastructure, voter registration and electoral programs, including the largest ever midterm tech and political organizing team.

2024 Presidential Primary Calendar
In addition to "housekeeping matters" regarding the general rules and bylaws that govern the national and state parties, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) reported on the status of the presidential primary calendar.

Under current DNC rules, no state can hold a presidential primary or caucus before the first Tuesday in March. Those exempted are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, which are granted "waivers" and allowed to hold their contests in early primaries as representative states of each region of the country.

For the first time since the 2008 cycle, the criteria for determining which states go first in the pre-primary window has been revamped, putting Iowa's coveted "first in the nation" nominating status, held for five decades, in question.

Under the new review process, all states need to reapply for their place in the nominating order based on a framework that gives preference to battleground states and those with diverse electorates “including ethnic, geographic (and) union representation.” While not eliminating caucuses, the proposal would also favor states that conduct a primary, the process exercised by 92% of the states, a core consideration.

The RBC, however, will not make its recommendation until after the mid-term elections, when cooperation from the winning elected officials who will oversee each state's election process in 2024, can be assessed.

Call to the Convention!
In addition to minor changes to the delegate selection process, DNC members approved the official "Call to the Convention," which dictates all rules, committees and procedures involving the 2024 Democratic Convention.

While the decision on which major city will be awarded the convention will not be made until after the November elections, committees for the top four contenders were ever-present at the DNC meeting, hosting spirited convention pitch parties Friday night in hopes of influencing the final decision.

Receptions were hosted by Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and New York. The Republican National Committee has already chosen Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the site of the 2024 GOP convention.

Resolutions were also passed honoring the Life and Career of Zahra Abbas, Madeleine Albright, Clifford Alexander, Greg Andrews, William Bilton, Vic Fazio, Jimmie Lou Fisher, Saúl González, Joe Grandmaison, Reynolds Keith Honold, C. Anthony “Tony” Jackson, Abe Jenkins, Johnnie A. Jones, Sr., Buddy Leach, Gerald W. McEntee, Norman Mineta, Ruth Ann Minner, John Ralls, and Elaine Schuster.

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Kimberly Scott

Sources: DNC, White House, DemRulz

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