Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has replaced former congressman John Conyers Jr. as the sponsor of the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act. Early Wednesday afternoon, Ellison asked for and received unanimous consent to take over H.R. 676, the single-payer health bill that has become a focus of left-wing energy and is supported by most of the Democratic caucus.
At the same time, Ellison (D-Minn.) is facing a new round of questions and attacks about his former support of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam — questions that dogged him in his first race for Congress and his near miss run for DNC chairman last year, even after he condemned Farrakhan. (Ellison flirted with the idea of running for attorney general in Minnesota this year but said Wednesday that he will seek reelection to the House.)