Congressional Progressive Caucus

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a caucus within the Democratic congressional caucus in the United States Congress.[6] The CPC is a left-leaning organization that works to advance progressive and liberal issues and positions and represents the progressive faction of the Democratic Party.[7][8] It was founded in 1991 and has grown steadily since then.

Entering the 116th United States Congress, the CPC has 104 members, making it the second largest caucus in Congress (after the Republican Study Committee) and the largest caucus within the Democratic Party. The CPC is currently co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

Progressive Caucus
Co-ChairsMark Pocan
Pramila Jayapal
First Vice ChairRo Khanna
WhipIlhan Omar
Vice ChairsSheila Jackson Lee, Veronica Escobar, Ruben Gallego, Mark Takano, Debbie Dingell, David Cicilline, Joe Neguse, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Norcross
Modern liberalism[2]
Social democracy[3]
Political positionLeft-wing[4]
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors     Blue
Seats in the Senate
1 / 100
Seats in House Democratic Caucus
98 / 235
Seats in the House
98 / 435


The CPC was established in 1991 by six members of the United States House of Representatives, namely U.S. Representatives Ron Dellums (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Thomas Andrews (D-ME), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Additional House Members joined soon thereafter, including Major Owens (D-NY), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), David Bonior (D-MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Patsy Mink (D-HI), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Sanders was the convener and first CPC Chairman. Bill Goold served as Staff Coordinator for the Progressive Caucus in its early years until 1998.

The founding CPC members were concerned about the economic hardship imposed by the deepening recession and the growing inequality brought about by the timidity of the Democratic Party response in the early 1990s. On January 3, 1995 at a standing room only news conference on Capitol Hill, they were the first group inside Congress to chart a detailed, comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America, which they termed "the most regressive tax proposals and reactionary social legislation the Congress had before it in 70 years". The CPC's ambitious agenda was framed as "The Progressive Promise: Fairness".

Budget proposal for 2012

In April 2011, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012.[9] Two of its proponents stated: "By implementing a fair tax code, by building a resilient American economy, and by bringing our troops home, we achieve a budget surplus of over $30 billion by 2021 and we end up with a debt that is less than 65% of our GDP. This is what sustainability looks like".[10]

Electoral results


Election year Overall seats Democratic seats Independent seats ±
2 / 100
1 / 51
1 / 2
1 / 100
0 / 53
1 / 2
1 / 100
0 / 44
1 / 2
1 / 100
0 / 46
1 / 2
1 / 100
0 / 45
1 / 2

House of Representatives

Election year Overall seats Democratic seats ±
77 / 435
77 / 193
68 / 435
68 / 200
68 / 435
68 / 188
75 / 435
75 / 193
102 / 435
102 / 235


The CPC advocates "universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare" (universal healthcare or single-payer healthcare), fair trade agreements, living wage laws, the right of all workers to organize into labor unions and engage in collective bargaining, the abolition of the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of same-sex marriage, U.S. participation in international treaties such as the climate change related Kyoto Accords, responsible reductions in profligate military expenditure, strict campaign finance reform laws, a crackdown on corporate welfare and influence, an increase in income tax rates on upper-middle and upper class households, tax cuts for the poor and an increase in welfare spending by the federal government.[11]

List of Chairs

Term start Term end Chair(s)
1991 1999
Rep. Bernie Sanders (VT)
1999 2003
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH)
2003 2005
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR)
2005 2009 Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA)
2009 2011 Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
2011 2017 Rep. Keith Ellison (MN)
2017 2019 Rep. Mark Pocan (WI)
2019 present Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA)


House members

116th Progressives
Congressional Progressive Caucus from the United States House of Representatives in the 116th United States Congress

All members are members of the Democratic Party or caucus with the Democratic Party. In the 116th Congress, there will be 104 declared Progressives, including 102 voting Representatives, one non-voting Delegate and one Senator.

More than one-fifth of the caucus' members (22) are representatives from California.





















New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina




Rhode Island








Senate members

Former members

See also


  1. ^ "What is CPC?". Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ellison Offers Progressive View Of Debt Deal". NPR. August 1, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2017. Congressional Progressive Caucus — the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in the House
  3. ^ Raza, Syed Ali (2012), Social Democratic System, Global Peace Trust, p. 91
  4. ^ Cunningham, Vinson (February 19, 2017). "Will Keith Ellison Move the Democrats Left?". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  5. ^ “Caucus Members.” Congressional Progressive Caucus : Endorsed Bills,,}} (Retrieved Feb 16,2019.
  6. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus: Caucus Members".
  7. ^ Hardisty, Jean (2000). Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence From The John Birch Society To The Promise Keepers. Boston, MA.: Beacon Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0807043172.
  8. ^ "Two congressmen endorse Carl Sciortino in race to replace Markey in Congress". September 13, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2014. "[T]he Congressional Progressive Caucus, the umbrella group for left-leaning Democratic members of Congress".
  9. ^ "The People's Budget" (PDF). Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Honda, Michael; Grijalva, Raul (April 11, 2011), "The only real Democratic budget", The Hill, retrieved March 24, 2018
  11. ^ "The Progressive Promise". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus".

External links

2014 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii

The 2014 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii were held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 to elect the two U.S. Representatives from the state of Hawaii, one from each of the state's two congressional districts. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including an election for Governor of Hawaii and a special election to the United States Senate.

2018 United States House of Representatives Democratic Caucus leadership election

A leadership election was held by the United States House of Representatives Democratic Caucus before the beginning of the 116th United States Congress on January 3, 2019. The election determined who will be nominated by the caucus for the speakership election as well as who would occupy other leadership positions within the House Democratic Caucus. The following positions were nominated or elected on November 29: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, House Majority Leader, House Majority Whip, House Assistant Majority Leader, Democratic Caucus Chair, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair, the Policy and Communications Committee's Chair and its three Co-Chairs, Junior Caucus Representative and Freshman Class Representative were elected the next day, and a third co-chair was added to the Steering and Policy Committee by the Leader.

Barbara Lee

Barbara Jean Lee (born July 16, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for California's 13th congressional district, serving since 1998. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 9th District from 1998 to 2013, is based in Oakland and includes most of northern Alameda County. She is the first woman to represent this district.

Lee is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is the current Whip and former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She is the Vice Chair and a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Lee has been a hero among many in the anti-war movement, notable for her vocal criticism of the war in Iraq and for being the only member of either chamber of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Brad Bauman

Brad Bauman is a political consultant who graduated from George Washington University with a master's degree in Political Management and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Brad has served various members of Congress and its campaigns, and also the former Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Dahlia Wasfi

Dahlia Wasfi (born 1971) is an American physician and peace activist. She is also an environmentalist who actively speaks out against the environmental impact of war and the corporate and government restructuring of farming methods and food resources in war zones in order to benefit American corporations at the expense of seed diversity and food security.

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1981) is a Somali-American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district since 2019. The district is based in Minneapolis and also includes Edina, Richfield, St. Louis Park, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley and Fridley.

In 2016, Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, making her the first Somali American elected to legislative office in the United States. On November 6, 2018, she became the first naturalized citizen from Africa and first Somali-American elected to the United States Congress. Along with Rashida Tlaib, she was one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. representative from Minnesota.A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Omar has advocated for a living wage, affordable housing and healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the abolition of ICE. She has strongly opposed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the Trump travel ban.

Joel Bleifuss

Joel Bleifuss is an American journalist. He is the editor and publisher of In These Times, a Chicago-based news magazine founded in 1976 by James Weinstein. During Bleifuss' tenure, the magazine has carried articles and columns by members of the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus, Arundhati Roy, and Slavoj Žižek, as well as long-time writers, Susan Douglas, David Moberg, and Salim Muwakkil.

Bleifuss has worked as an investigative reporter and columnist for In These Times since 1986, when it was published as a tabloid newspaper. He became managing editor in 1998 and editor the following year. Bleifuss writes frequently on U.S. politics, foreign policy, and environmental affairs. His columns have covered an array of topics including mad-cow disease (BSE) and the beef industry, carcinogens in cosmetics, and the "October Surprise" preceding the 1980 U.S. presidential elections.

During the years of the George W. Bush administration, Bleifuss worked with American novelist Kurt Vonnegut on a variety of articles, interviews, and short comic essays which appeared in magazines and were republished in La Jornada and other media outlets. A Man Without a Country, the last book Vonnegut published during his lifetime, includes material that originally appeared in In These Times.

Before working at In These Times, Bleifuss was a features writer at the Fulton Sun, in Fulton, Missouri. His criticisms of the public relations industry have appeared in the Utne Reader and on the op-ed page of The New York Times.

Bleifuss' articles have been featured on Project Censored's list of suppressed news stories more than those of any other American journalist.

He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Libertarian Democrat

In American politics, a libertarian Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party with political views that are relatively libertarian compared to the views of the national party.While other factions of the Democratic Party are organized in the Congress, like with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition, the libertarian faction is not organized in such a way. Nevertheless, groups made up of the party membership such as the Democratic Freedom Caucus do exist. Established in 1996 by Hanno Beck, Mike O'Mara and Andrew Spark, the caucus maintains a platform, a list of principles and a guide for activists. The group's leadership currently includes 40 state chairs and regional representatives.

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Lisa LaTrelle Blunt Rochester (née Blunt; February 10, 1962) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Delaware's at-large congressional district since 2017. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Liz Watson (politician)

Elizabeth Schoff Watson (born December 9, 1975) is an American labor attorney and politician, and the current executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. Watson was the Democratic nominee for the 2018 U.S. House of Representatives election in Indiana's 9th congressional district.

Lynn Woolsey

Lynn C. Woolsey (born November 3, 1937) is a former U.S. Representative for California's 6th congressional district, serving from 1993 to 2013. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district she represented included all of Marin County and most of Sonoma County. She was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and was its co-chair from 2010 until her retirement in 2013. Woolsey, who described herself as "the first former welfare mother to serve in Congress," was one of two members of the House to have been on welfare; the other is Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI).On June 28, 2011, Woolsey announced that she would not run for re-election in the 2012 election. She was succeeded in her Marin district by Jared Huffman.

Mark Pocan

Mark William Pocan (; born August 14, 1964) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district since 2013. The district is based in the state capital, Madison. A member of the Democratic Party, he currently serves as Co-Chair of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Mike Capuano

Michael Everett Capuano (; born January 9, 1952) is an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1999 to 2019. A Democrat, his district included the northern three-fourths of Boston, as well as parts of Cambridge, his hometown of Somerville, and other communities immediately north and south of Boston. Prior to being elected to Congress he served as an Alderman and Mayor of Somerville.

Capuano was born and raised in Somerville. After graduating from Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School, he worked as an attorney and Somerville alderman. After losing two mayoral elections in 1979 and 1981, he worked as legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court. In 1989 Capuano ran for mayor a third time and won, serving from 1990 to 1999.

In 1998 Capuano won a crowded Democratic primary to replace Joseph Kennedy II in Congress and was re-elected nine times. He represented the state's 8th district until it was redrawn in 2013 into the 7th district. In Congress he was a staunch liberal and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He ran in the 2010 special election to fill the seat in the United States Senate made vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy, his Congressional predecessor's uncle, but lost the primary to Martha Coakley, who in turn lost the general election to Republican Scott Brown. In 2018, he was defeated by Ayanna Pressley in a House Democratic primary.

New Democrat Coalition

The New Democrat Coalition is a Congressional Member Organization within the United States Congress made up of centrist, capitalist Democrats who support an agenda that the organization describes as "moderate" and "pro-growth" and support a balanced budget.

A November 2012 press release described the organization as "Congress's largest coalition of "moderates" heading into the 113th Congress.

On December 3, 2016, Connecticut congressman Jim Himes was appointed Chair.Entering the 116th United States Congress, the New Democrats have 99 members, making them the second largest caucus in the Democratic Party (after the Congressional Progressive Caucus), and the third largest in Congress altogether (after the CPC and Republican Study Committee).

Peter DeFazio

Peter Anthony DeFazio (born May 27, 1947) is the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district, serving since 1987. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Roseburg, Coos Bay and Florence. He is the dean of Oregon's House of Representatives delegation and a founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. A native of Massachusetts and a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves, he previously served as a county commissioner in Lane County, Oregon.

Populist Caucus

The Populist Caucus was a caucus within the United States House of Representatives. The caucus was created on February 11, 2009 by Democrat Bruce Braley of Iowa. The caucus included 25 members of the House, all of which are from the Democratic Party. The fifteen members of this caucus are also members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. As of 2014 the caucus is effectively defunct.

Pramila Jayapal

Pramila Jayapal (; born September 21, 1965) is an American politician and activist from the State of Washington who currently serves as the U.S. Representative from Washington's 7th congressional district, which includes most of Seattle as well as suburban areas of King County. As a member of the Democratic Party, she represented the 37th legislative district in the Washington State Senate from 2015 to 2017. She is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. The district's first female member of Congress, she is also the first Asian-American to represent Washington in Congress.

Before entering electoral politics, Jayapal was a Seattle-based civil rights activist, serving until 2012 as the executive director of OneAmerica, a pro-immigrant advocacy group. Jayapal founded the organization, originally called Hate Free Zone, following the 2001 September 11 attacks. The organization successfully sued the Bush Administration's Immigration and Naturalization Services to prevent the deportation of over 4,000 Somalis across the country.

Described by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as "a rising star in the Democratic caucus", Jayapal currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and serves on both the Judiciary and Budget committees.

Raúl Grijalva

Raúl Manuel Grijalva (; born February 19, 1948) is an American politician who currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 7th District from 2003 to 2013, includes the western third of Tucson, part of Yuma and Nogales, and some peripheral parts of metro Phoenix. He is the current dean of Arizona's congressional delegation.

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