Last week, New York’s House delegation united to call on the Independent Democratic Conference to return to the Democratic fold and take control of that house away from Republicans. Ross Barkan of the Village Voice wrote today that while more Democrats have applied pressure to the IDC, Senator Chuck Schumer has remained silent–he has an aversion to the left branch of his party.
His friend, junior Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand, has been supportive of Senate Democrats and their leader Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
I asked her office today where she stands on the IDC and their alliance with Senate Republicans. Her office provided this quote from her senior advisor Glen Caplin.
“Senator Gillibrand believes it’s vital to have Democratic control of the State Senate and it should be led by the Democratic Majority that wants to get things done for New Yorkers, not a breakaway faction. The status quo is not just unacceptable, it’s wrong.”
Gillibrand has enjoyed an expanding celebrity thanks to her outspokenness against President Donald Trump and his appointees.
The IDC and its leader Sen. Jeff Klein have touted their ability to work with Republicans to secure a minimum wage increase, paid family leave and other legislation. Their many critics say they’ve stood in the way of truly progressive legislation and have empowered Republicans.
Democrats technically enjoy a 32-member majority in the Senate–but the IDC’s 8 members empower Republicans and Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, who conferences with Republicans.