Despite his CPC membership, Democrat Joe Morelle (NY-25 D+8) does not support the GND and has not backed M4A, while the insurance sector tops his campaign donor list. He scored 80% disagreement in the recent PINO (Progressive In Name Only) report by RootsAction.

By Christopher D. Cook, RootsAction

Elected in 2018 to replace the late Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, Joe Morelle represents New York’s 25th District, centered in Rochester. This strongly Democratic district cast a 60 percent vote for Biden in the 2020 general election (and 59 percent for Morelle’s reelection).

joe morelleWhen the CPC endorsed Morelle for reelection in 2019, it called him “a true champion of the progressive values CPC stands for.” Unfortunately, on a host of key progressive values, Morelle has often acted more like a corporate centrist. Though Morelle supported the COVID-vaccine trade waiver, he has not sided with progressive leadership on much else.

Morelle failed to cosponsor AOC’s Green New Deal resolution or Cori Bush’s Green New Deal for Cities. When asked about his position, Morelle told the nonprofit 500 Women Scientists, “While I do not support the Green New Deal in its entirety, I support many of its proposals, including transitioning our economy away from fossil fuel dependence.” (Morelle did cosponsor the THRIVE Act.)

Joe Morelle, progressive in name only report

Despite declaring on his campaign website that “universal access to health care is a fundamental human right,” Morelle has not backed Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation. In a 2019 congressional hearing on the bill, Morelle raised “concerns” about “disruptions in the marketplace,” and the taxes and costs associated with transitioning to Medicare for All. The insurance industry sector is Morelle’s top campaign donor (followed by lobbyists and real estate). At the hearing, universal healthcare activist Ady Barkan responded to Morelle, “We pay for far more expensive things like wars of choice. We can afford to do this. We just need to decide to make it happen. It is a political challenge, not an economic one.”

While questioning the costs of Medicare for All, Morelle voted in favor of big military spending increases which, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he was “proud to have helped craft.” He voted against both Rep. Pocan’s and AOC’s amendments to cut Pentagon spending by 10 percent, and voted to reauthorize warrantless government surveillance powers last year. He signed the AIPAC-organized letter to Blinken attempting to impede restoration of an Iran nuclear deal.

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