Congressional Progressive Caucus

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) was founded in 1991 by Bernie Sanders—the openly socialist then Congressman from Vermont, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the radical Washington DC based "think tank" Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The Congressional Progressive Caucus is an informal alliance of 77 liberal and left Congressmen in the U.S. House. They push for liberal revisions of major laws, but have been frustrated in 2009 because the Democrats need the support of the more conservative Blue Dog Democrats pass to pass legislation in the face of near 100% Republican opposition.
. Many members were and continue to be linked to DSA and/or the Communist Party USA, IPS or other radical organizations.

From small beginnings the CPC has grown to embrace more than 80 members of Congress and three in the Senate - Roland Burris, Bernie Sanders and Tom Udall (NM).


The cochairs are Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Lynn Woolsey of California. Most members represent big city districts, especially in the Northeast and West Coast. Most were elected by landslides and do not have to worry about reelection. Since the term "liberal" is out of fashion, they use "progressive." The Caucus was founded in 1991. No Republican has ever belonged.

The Progressive Caucus overlaps heavily with the Congressional Black Caucus (which refuses to allow any white members).


Many powerful committee and subcommittee chairs belong; Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a member until she became party leader. Influential members include:

  • Bob Brady (Penn.) - Chairman, House Administration Committee
  • Barney Frank (Mass.)- Chairman, House Financial Services Committee
  • Bob Filner (Calif.)- Chairman, House Veterans Affairs Committee
  • Barbara Lee (Calif.)- Chairwoman, Congressional Black Caucus
  • George Miller (Calif.)- Chairman, House Education and Labor Committee
  • Charles Rangel (NY) - Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee
  • Louise Slaughter (NY)- Chairwoman, House Rules Committee
  • Bennie Thompson (Miss.) - Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee
  • Nydia Velazquez (NY) - Chairwoman, House Small Business Committee
  • Henry Waxman (Calif.)- Chairman, House Energy and Commerce Committee

External links