Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, right, accompanied by, from left, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, after Senate policy luncheons.
The Democratic National Committee may turn up the heat on two independent U.S. senators who caucus with the party to become Democrats.
The resolution calls on Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont “to run as Democrats” in the 2018 election, when both will seek re-election.
There is no indication, however, that either will switch.
King told CNN late Tuesday that he has been an independent since the early 1990s and served as governor without a party affiliation.
“That’s who I am,” he said. “I caucus with the Democrats. You have to choose one caucus or the other. It’s worked out.”
“I more often vote with the Democrats, but not always,” King said. “I like to call ’em as I see ’em. And that’s where I’m going to stay.”
Members of the party’s national committee are slated to gather Thursday in Las Vegas for their fall meeting, with a lengthy agenda covering a range of issues.
One resolution it is slated to take up says that King and Sanders “have contributed enormously to key Democratic causes, such as fighting for universal health care, making college education attainable for all Americans and combating climate change.”
It says, too, the party exists “to support and elect Democrats across all states and levels of government.”
Given “the important contributions” of King and Sanders “to causes at the heart of the Democratic Party’s mission,” it says they ought to run as Democrats.
It also urges elected officials, candidates and voters who share the party’s goals to register or affiliate with Democrats.