Democrat congressional candidate says Rep. Henry Cuellar could be ‘the Joe Manchin of the House’

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Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros said Thursday on “MTP Daily” that Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas., could be “the Joe Manchin of the House” with his stance on abortion.  

Host Chuck Todd asked Cisneros about Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who campaigned for Cuellar in Texas on Wednesday, saying that there can’t be a “litmus test” to be a Democrat. Cuellar is a pro-life Democrat representing Texas’ 28th District and has been targeted nationally by pro-choice organizations.

Democratic U.S. congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros (TX-28) concludes a speech alongside her family during a watch party on March 01, 2022 in Laredo, Texas. Late results hint that Cisneros and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) could face a primary runoff with neither getting more than the 50 percent necessary for an outright win
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“At this moment, we’re watching the fall of Roe and the erosion of our fundamental rights,” Cisneros said. “It necessitates a champion that’s going to fight for our people’s rights in this district, and I’ve always said that this race truly goes beyond south Texas. The last thing we want is to hold onto a slim Democratic majority and then have someone like Henry Cuellar who’s going to keep siding with Republicans.”

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The Democratic congressional candidate listed legislation where Cuellar voted with Republicans, including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act in 2020.

UNITED STATES – October 22: Jessica Cisneros, candidate for Texas 28th congressional district, is interviewed by CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images at their D.C. office on October 22, 2019. (Photo by Thomas McKinless/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images).

“He could become the Joe Manchin of the House,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want the Texas representative to be the deciding vote on legislation relating to abortion. 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has earned left-wing ire by voting with Republicans at times since Democrats took a slim majority in the Senate. Manchin, along Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., voted against the filibuster in January after Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., forced a vote in an effort to pass voting rights legislation. 

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Cisneros will face Cuellar in a runoff election on May 24 after neither candidate won a majority of the vote in March. 

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Cuellar urged the Biden administration to name former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as a border czar. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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Cuellar voted with House Republicans in September 2021 on the Democratic abortion bill, making him the only Democrat to vote against it. 

He also joined the recent bipartisan effort to keep Title 42 in place after the Biden administration announced the measure would be lifted at the end of May. Cisneros is backed by left-wing “Squad” members, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and she previously lost to Cuellar in a 2020 primary. 

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