US Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), have announced that they expect at least seven new members of Congress to join the CPC and that the CPC will be the largest sub-group of the Democratic party in the 110th Congress. The CPC currently has 64 members, including Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), a supporter of the Afghan Women’s Empowerment Act; open lesbian Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); and strong women Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Hilda Solis (D-CA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA). According to The Nation, the CPC will not only be the largest caucus in Congress, but also the most racially and regionally diverse.
Newly elected House Democrats Jerry McNerney (CA), Ed Perlmutter (CO), Bruce Braley (IA), John Sarbanes (MD), Keith Ellison (MN), Carol Shear-Porter (NH), Paul Hodes (NH), and John Hall (NY) are all likely additions to the CPC based on their platforms that resonate strongly with the goals of the CPC, The Nation reports. The CPC has reasserted their agenda for Congress, committing to advocate for a new national security strategy, the reduction of poverty, voter reform, and energy independence. According to Representative Woolsey, “at least half of the incoming chairs of the House standing committees will be Progressive Caucus Members” and the next House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), formerly belonged to the CPC before becoming the leader of all House Democrats. The presence of CPC members in such leadership positions will ensure that the CPC will be able to contribute considerably to the agenda in the 110th Congress.
CPC Co-Chair Barbara Lee said of the recent election results and media’s spin, “Some inside-the-Beltway commentators, columnists, and conservatives want the American people to believe that last Tuesday’s election results have especially empowered moderate-to-conservative elements within the House Democratic Caucus in the 110th Congress, but that is an incomplete picture of the new political landscape on Capitol Hill… It is important to recognize that this was not just a vote against George Bush and the Republican Congress, it was a vote for a Democratic agenda that is rooted in progressive values.”