Congressional Progressive Caucus
- It should not be assumed that mention of a person in this article implies their support of Marxism, Communism, Socialism, indeed of anything other than general support for social progress.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the Democratic caucus in the United States Congress with 83 declared members, and works to advance progressive issues and positions.
The CPC was founded in 1991 and now has more than 80 members. The Caucus is co-chaired by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN). Of the 20 standing committees of the House in the 111th Congress, 10 were chaired by members of the CPC. Those chairmen were replaced when the Republicans took control of the House in the 112th Congress.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) was established in 1991 by six members of the United States House of Representatives: 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). Then-Representative Bernie Sanders was the convener and first chairman. The founding 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 at the time.
Additional House representatives joined soon, 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).
The CPC's founding statement of purpose states that it was "organized around the principles of social and economic justice, a non-discriminatory society, and national priorities which represent the interests of all people, not just the wealthy and powerful". The founding members underscored that the Cold War was over, and that the nation's budget and overall priorities should show that. They called for cuts in outdated and unnecessary military spending, a more progressive tax system which places a larger portion of the tax burden on corporations and those with higher earnings, a substantial increase in federal funding for social programs designed to meet the needs of low and middle-income American families, and trade policies that increase the exports of more American products and encourage the creation of well-paying jobs and sound investment in America. They also expressed their belief that those policy goals could be achieved in concert with a commitment to long-term fiscal responsibility.
According to its website, the CPC advocates "universal access to affordable, high quality 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 significant portions of the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of same-sex marriage, US participation in international treaties such as the climate change related Kyoto Accords, strict campaign finance reform laws, a complete pullout from the war in Iraq, 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.
Due to historical factors, including the Red Scare and the Cold War, Marxism is not an acceptable political tendency in the United States. Progressive politicians in the United States, whatever their private opinion, conform.
Budget proposal for 2012
In April 2011, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012. 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." A Washington Post columnist stated, "[T]he Congressional Progressive Caucus plan wins the fiscal responsibility derby thus far; it reaches balance by 2021 largely through assorted tax hikes and defense cuts." Paul Krugman called the People's Budget "the only major budget proposal out there offering a plausible path to balancing the budget."
The non-profit organization most closely associated with the Congressional Progressive Caucus is ProgressiveCongress.org which works to connect the caucus to progressives outside the Congress.
In addition, an array of national liberal organizations work to support the efforts of the progressive caucus, including the Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation magazine, MoveOn.org, National Priorities Project, Jobs with Justice, Peace Action, Americans for Democratic Action, and Progressive Democrats of America. Also co-sponsoring the kickoff event were the NAACP, ACLU, Progressive Majority, League of United Latin American Citizens, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, National Council of La Raza, Hip Hop Caucus, Human Rights Campaign, Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, and the National Hip Hop Political Convention.
All members are members of the Democratic Party or caucus with the Democratic Party. There are currently 81 total declared Progressives including 77 voting Representatives, two non-voting Delegates, and one Senator.
- Lynn Woolsey (CA-6, Santa Rosa)
- George Miller (CA-7, Richmond)
- Barbara Lee (CA-9, Oakland)
- Pete Stark (CA-13, Fremont)
- Janice Hahn (CA-36, San Pedro)
- Michael Honda (CA-15, San Jose)
- Sam Farr (CA-17, Monterey)
- Henry Waxman (CA-30, Los Angeles)
- Xavier Becerra (CA-31, Los Angeles)
- Judy Chu (CA-32, El Monte)
- Karen Bass (CA-33, Baldwin Hills)
- Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34, Los Angeles)
- Maxine Waters (CA-35, Inglewood)
- Laura Richardson (CA-37, Long Beach)
- Linda Sánchez (CA-39, Lakewood)
- Bob Filner (CA-51, San Diego)
- Jared Polis (CO-02, Boulder)
- Rosa DeLauro (CT-3, New Haven)
- Corrine Brown (FL-3, Jacksonville)
- Frederica Wilson (FL-17, Miami)
- Alcee Hastings (FL-23, Fort Lauderdale)
- Mazie Hirono (HI-2, Honolulu)
- Bobby Rush (IL-1, Chicago)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2, Chicago Heights)
- Luis Gutierrez (IL-4, Chicago)
- Danny Davis (IL-7, Chicago)
- Jan Schakowsky (IL-9, Chicago)
- André Carson (IN-7, Indianapolis)
- Dave Loebsack (IA-2, Cedar Rapids)
- Chellie Pingree (ME-1, North Haven)
- John Olver (MA-1, Amherst)
- Jim McGovern (MA-3, Worcester)
- Barney Frank (MA-4, Newton)
- John Tierney (MA-6, Salem)
- Ed Markey (MA-7, Malden)
- Mike Capuano (MA-8, Boston)
- John Conyers (MI-14, Detroit)
- Keith Ellison (MN-5, Minneapolis) - Co-Chair
- Bennie Thompson (MS-2, Bolton)
- William Lacy Clay, Jr. (MO-1, St. Louis)
- Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5, Kansas City) - Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus
- Ben R. Luján (NM-3, Santa Fe)
- Jerry Nadler (NY-8, Manhattan)
- Yvette Clarke (NY-11, Brooklyn)
- Nydia Velázquez (NY-12, Brooklyn)
- Carolyn Maloney (NY-14, Manhattan)
- Charles Rangel (NY-15, Harlem)
- José Serrano (NY-16, Bronx)
- Maurice Hinchey (NY-22, Saugerties)
- Louise Slaughter (NY-28, Rochester)
- Mel Watt (NC-12, Charlotte)
- Marcy Kaptur (OH-9, Toledo)
- Dennis Kucinich (OH-10, Cleveland)
- Marcia Fudge (OH-11, Warrensville Heights)
- David Cicilline (RI-1, Providence)
- Steve Cohen (TN-9, Memphis)
- Peter Welch (VT-At Large)
- Jim Moran (VA-8, Alexandria)
- Jim McDermott (WA-7, Seattle)
- Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
- Sherrod Brown (OH-13) - Elected to Senate
- Roland Burris (IL Senate) - Retired from Congress
- Julia Carson (IN-07) - Died in December 2007
- Lane Evans (IL-17) - Retired from Congress
- Alan Grayson (FL-8) defeated for re-election in 2010
- John Hall (NY-19) defeated for re-election in 2010
- Phil Hare (IL-17) defeated for re-election in 2010
- Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI-13) defeated for re-nomination in 2010
- Eric Massa (NY-29) - Resigned in March 2010
- Cynthia McKinney (GA-4) - Lost Congressional seat to current caucus member Hank Johnson
- Major Owens (NY-11) - Retired from Congress
- Nancy Pelosi (CA-8) - Left Caucus when Elected House Minority Leader
- Hilda Solis (CA-32) - Became Secretary of Labor in 2009
- Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11) - Died in 2008
- Paul Wellstone (MN Senate) - Died in plane crash in 2002
- Robert Wexler (FL-19) - Resigned in January 2010 to become President of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation
- About the CPC, CPC Website, accessed Oct 8, 2009
- The People's Budget. Congressional Progressive Caucus. URL accessed on 2011-04-24.
- Honda, Michael; Grijalva, Raul (April 11, 2011), "The only real Democratic budget", The Hill, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/155221-the-only-real-democratic-budget
- Miller, Matt (April 20, 2011), "‘The Shining’ — national debt edition", The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-shining--national-debt-edition/2011/04/20/AFnfSICE_story.html, retrieved 2011-04-24
- Paul Krugman. "Let’s Take a Hike", New York Times, 24 April 2011. Retrieved on 1 May 2011.
- Official Website
- Sweet Victory: Congressional Progressive Caucus Gets in Gear
- Current Roster of Congressional Progressive Caucus
- Liberal legislative caucus envisions post-Bush era (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Progressive Caucus Rising (In These Times)
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