The House Democratic leadership, normally staunch allies of AIPAC, bucked the Israel lobby in favor of incumbent progressive Summer Lee.

by Akela Lacy, The Intercept

Bucking pro-Israel lobby groups, the top three members of House Democratic leadership endorsed Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., on Wednesday. Like other progressive members of the Squad, pro-Israel groups are seeking to oust Lee in 2024.

Members of the House Democratic leadership have mostly remained close to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee even as it sought to unseat Democratic incumbents. On Wednesday, though, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., bucked AIPAC, a major donor, and endorsed Lee. House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., joined Jeffries in the endorsement.

Summer Lee stands at a podium giving a speech

“A civil rights champion, advocate for organized labor and the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress, Summer Lee has worked tirelessly to deliver for working families,” the three leaders said in a statement Wednesday morning. They added that Lee had fought for good union jobs and reproductive rights since her first day in Congress and would help oppose “the extreme MAGA Republican agenda” in Pennsylvania.

The endorsements are among the first by House Democratic leadership for a progressive incumbent facing attacks from AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups in 2024. Jeffries endorsed Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., in August amid news that AIPAC was recruiting candidates to challenge her.

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