Panetta (CA-20 D+23) has opposed attempts to rein in the Pentagon budget and taken big donations from health insurance companies, putting him at the top of the PINO list

By Christopher D. Cook, RootsAction

Following in his father’s footsteps, Jimmy Panetta represents the same Central California Coast district—overwhelmingly Democratic—that elected Leon Panetta for nine terms (formerly the state’s 16th  then 17th Congressional District). Panetta seems to have inherited his father’s hawkish tendencies, voting to reauthorize the misnamed USA Freedom Act, backing military spending increases, and opposing Rep. Pocan’s and AOC’s modest attempts to rein in the military budget. Panetta also signed the letter undermining a renewed Iran nuclear deal.

Panetta received credit from the Progressive Caucus for urging Biden and Pelosi to go “big and bold” on infrastructure and Build Back Better—but when push came to shove, Panetta was not among the 22 Democrats who at a key moment in late September pledged to oppose BIF unless it was packaged in a vote with BBB.

Panetta receives substantial corporate campaign donations, including from top contributors Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the USA Rice Federation, Honeywell International, Morgan Stanley, and the American Hospital Association.

Panetta is one of 16 CPC members who is part of the corporate-allied New Democrat Coalition. In 2020, Panetta faced his first progressive primary challenge, from Adam Bolaños Scow, who roundly criticized the congressman’s corporate campaign donations ($550,000 from corporate PACs in that cycle) and his refusal to support a fracking ban.

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