Congressional Progressive Caucus

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Progressive Caucus
ChairPramila Jayapal
Deputy chairKatie Porter
WhipIlhan Omar
Founded1991; 31 years ago (1991)
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Seats in the Senate Democratic Caucus
1 / 50
Seats in the Senate
1 / 100
Seats in the House Democratic Caucus
99 / 220
Seats in the House
99 / 435
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a congressional caucus affiliated with the Democratic Party in the United States Congress.[4] The CPC represents the most left-leaning faction of the Democratic Party.[5][6] It was founded in 1991 and has grown since then.

As of March 22, 2022, of the 117th United States Congress, the CPC has 101 members (99 voting Representatives, 1 non-voting Delegate, and 1 Senator), making it the largest ideological caucus in the Democratic Party (slightly larger than the New Democrat Coalition) and the second largest ideological caucus overall (after the Republican Study Committee). The CPC is chaired by U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).


The CPC was established in 1991 by 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 Representatives 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), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Patsy Mink (D-HI), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Sanders was the first CPC Chairman.[7]

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 comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America. The CPC's ambitious agenda was framed as "The Progressive Promise: Fairness".[8]

List of chairs[edit]

Term start Term end Chair(s)
1991 1999
Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
1999 2003
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
2003 2005
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
2005 2009 Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
2009 2011 Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
2011 2017 Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
2017 2019 Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
2019 2021 Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
2021 present
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

Policy positions[edit]

The CPC advocates "a universal, high-quality, Medicare for All health care system for all", living wage laws, reductions in military expenditure, a crackdown on corporate greed, putting an end to mass incarceration, supporting and implementing swift measures to start reversing climate change, immigration policies that are humane, and reparations.[9]


In April 2011, the CPC released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012.[10] 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".[11]

In 2019, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed H.R.582, The Raise the Wage Act,[12] which would have gradually raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. It was not taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate. In January 2021, Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives reintroduced the bill.[13] In February 2021, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 which estimated that incrementally raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would benefit 17 million workers, but would also reduce employment by 1.4 million people.[14][15][16] On February 27, 2021, the Democratic-controlled House passed the American Rescue Plan pandemic relief package, which included a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.[17] The measure was ultimately removed from the Senate version of the bill.[18]

Climate change[edit]

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks on the Green New Deal with Senator Ed Markey in front of the Capitol Building in February 2019.

A prominent 2019 attempt to get legislation passed for a Green New Deal was sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) during the 116th United States Congress, though it failed to advance in the Senate.[19] Green New Deal proposals call for public policy to address climate change along with achieving other social aims like job creation and reducing economic inequality. The name refers back to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression.[20] The Green New Deal combines Roosevelt's economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.[21][22]

Health care[edit]

The United States National Health Care Act, also known as Medicare for All or Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, is a bill first introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) in 2003, with 38 co-sponsors.[23][24] In 2019, the original 16-year-old proposal was renumbered, and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced a broadly similar, but more detailed, bill,[25] HR 1384, in the 116th Congress.[26] As of November 3, 2019, it had 116 co-sponsors still in the House at the time, or 49.8% of House Democrats.[27]

The act would establish a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, the rough equivalent of Canada's Medicare and Taiwan's Bureau of National Health Insurance, among other examples. Under a single-payer system, most medical care would be paid for by the federal government, ending the need for private health insurance and premiums, and re-casting private insurance companies as providing purely supplemental coverage, to be used when non-essential care is sought. The national system would be paid for in part through taxes replacing insurance premiums, but also by savings realized through the provision of preventive universal health care and the elimination of insurance company overhead and hospital billing costs.[28]On September 13, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a parallel bill in the United States Senate, with 16 co-sponsors.[29][30][31] The act would establish a universal single-payer health care system in the United States.[28]

Drug costs[edit]

In 2019, the CPC challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the details of a drug-pricing bill, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.[32] The final version was the result of extensive negotiations between House Democratic leadership and members of the CPC.[33] The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on September 19, 2019 during the 116th Congress by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).[24] The bill received 106 co-sponsors.[34] It passed the House on December 12, 2019, by a vote of (230-192). All Democrats voted for the measure, and all but 2 Republicans voted against it. The bill was then sent to the Senate. The Senate, having been controlled by Republicans, did not bring the bill up for a vote.

Abortion rights[edit]

During the 117th United States Congress congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the Women's Health Protection Act. The act would expand abortion rights and codify Roe v. Wade. It was introduced in response to the Texas Heartbeat Act. It passed House of Representatives (218–211), but was defeated in the Senate on a 46–48 vote in February 2022.[35][36]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

In October 2022, 30 members of the caucus urged the Biden administration to seek a negotiated, diplomatic end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine while advocating for continued economic and military support to Ukraine.[37][38]

The next day, after a wave of criticism, the letter was swiftly withdrawn on the basis that peaceful negotiations with Putin in current situation are "nearly impossible". Jayapal reasserted the Democrats' support for Ukraine and said the letter had been drafted several months ago and "released by staff without vetting."[39]

Electoral results[edit]

Election year Senate House of Representatives
Overall seats Democratic seats Independent seats ± Overall seats Democratic seats ±
2 / 100
1 / 51
1 / 2
77 / 435
77 / 193
1 / 100
0 / 53
1 / 2
68 / 435
68 / 200
1 / 100
0 / 44
1 / 2
68 / 435
68 / 188
1 / 100
0 / 46
1 / 2
78 / 435
78 / 193
1 / 100
0 / 45
1 / 2
96 / 435
96 / 233
1 / 100
0 / 48
1 / 2
95 / 435
95 / 220


Congressional Progressive Caucus from the United States House of Representatives in the 117th United States Congress

All members are Democrats or caucus with the Democratic Party. In the 117th Congress, there are 101 declared Progressives, including 99 voting Representatives, one non-voting member and one Senator.[40]

Senate members[edit]

State CPVI[41] Party Member
Vermont D+15 Bernie Sanders

House members[edit]

State District CPVI[41] Member
Arizona AZ-3 D+13 Raúl Grijalva
AZ-7 D+24 Ruben Gallego
California CA-2 D+23 Jared Huffman
CA-3 D+5 John Garamendi
CA-11 D+24 Mark DeSaulnier
CA-13 D+40 Barbara Lee
CA-17 D+24 Ro Khanna
CA-19 D+23 Zoe Lofgren
CA-20 D+23 Jimmy Panetta
CA-27 D+18 Judy Chu
CA-30 D+20 Brad Sherman
CA-32 D+17 Grace Napolitano
CA-33 D+19 Ted Lieu
CA-34 D+34 Jimmy Gomez
CA-37 D+36 Karen Bass (Retiring)
CA-38 D+17 Linda Sánchez
CA-40 D+31 Lucille Roybal-Allard (Retiring)
CA-41 D+12 Mark Takano
CA-43 D+29 Maxine Waters
CA-44 D+29 Nanette Barragán
CA-45 D+3 Katie Porter
CA-47 D+14 Alan Lowenthal (Retiring)
CA-49 D+4 Mike Levin
CA-51 D+20 Juan Vargas
CA-53 D+17 Sara Jacobs
Colorado CO-1 D+24 Diana DeGette
CO-2 D+12 Joe Neguse
Connecticut CT-3 D+8 Rosa DeLauro
Delaware At-large D+6 Lisa Blunt Rochester
Florida FL-9 D+3 Darren Soto
FL-20 D+31 Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
FL-21 D+9 Lois Frankel
FL-24 D+28 Frederica Wilson
Georgia GA-4 D+27 Hank Johnson
GA-5 D+36 Nikema Williams
Hawaii HI-2 D+15 Kai Kahele (Retiring)
Illinois IL-3 D+6 Marie Newman (Lost Renomination)
IL-4 D+33 Jesús García
IL-7 D+33 Danny Davis
IL-9 D+21 Jan Schakowsky
Indiana IN-7 D+11 André Carson
Kentucky KY-3 D+8 John Yarmuth (Retiring)
Louisiana LA-2 D+23 Troy Carter
Maine ME-1 D+8 Chellie Pingree
Maryland MD-7 D+27 Kweisi Mfume
MD-8 D+17 Jamie Raskin
Massachusetts MA-2 D+10 Jim McGovern
MA-3 D+12 Lori Trahan
MA-5 D+23 Katherine Clark
MA-7 D+35 Ayanna Pressley
Michigan MI-5 D+1 Dan Kildee
MI-9 D+4 Andy Levin (Lost Renomination)
MI-12 D+13 Debbie Dingell
MI-13 D+32 Rashida Tlaib
MI-14 D+30 Brenda Lawrence (Retiring)
Minnesota MN-5 D+26 Ilhan Omar
Missouri MO-1 D+29 Cori Bush
Nevada NV-4 D+1 Steven Horsford
New Jersey NJ-1 D+11 Donald Norcross
NJ-3 D+3 Andy Kim
NJ-6 D+6 Frank Pallone
NJ-12 D+16 Bonnie Watson Coleman
New Mexico NM-1 D+9 Melanie Stansbury
NM-3 D+8 Teresa Leger Fernandez
New York NY-6 D+13 Grace Meng
NY-7 D+34 Nydia Velázquez
NY-8 D+33 Hakeem Jeffries
NY-9 D+32 Yvette Clarke
NY-10 D+27 Jerry Nadler
NY-12 D+34 Carolyn Maloney (Lost Renomination)
NY-13 D+40 Adriano Espaillat
NY-14 D+25 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
NY-15 D+39 Ritchie Torres
NY-16 D+25 Jamaal Bowman
NY-17 D+9 Mondaire Jones (Lost Renomination)
NY-25 D+8 Joseph Morelle
North Carolina NC-12 D+19 Alma Adams
Ohio OH-11 D+30 Shontel Brown
Oregon OR-1 D+12 Suzanne Bonamici
OR-3 D+24 Earl Blumenauer
OR-4 R+1 Peter DeFazio (Retiring)
Pennsylvania PA-2 D+21 Brendan Boyle
PA-3 D+41 Dwight Evans
PA-4 D+9 Madeleine Dean
PA-5 D+13 Mary Gay Scanlon
PA-8 R+5 Matt Cartwright
Rhode Island RI-1 D+12 David Cicilline
Tennessee TN-9 D+28 Steve Cohen
Texas TX-16 D+17 Veronica Escobar
TX-18 D+27 Sheila Jackson Lee
TX-29 D+19 Sylvia Garcia
TX-30 D+29 Eddie Bernice Johnson (Retiring)
TX-35 D+15 Lloyd Doggett
Vermont At-large D+15 Peter Welch (Retiring)
Virginia VA-8 D+27 Don Beyer
Washington WA-7 D+36 Pramila Jayapal
WA-9 D+23 Adam Smith
Wisconsin WI-2 D+18 Mark Pocan
WI-4 D+25 Gwen Moore
District of Columbia At-large D+43 Eleanor Holmes Norton

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is CPC?". Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  2. ^ Raza, Syed Ali (2012), Social Democratic System, Global Peace Trust, p. 91
  3. ^  • "Centrist House Democrats lash out at liberal colleagues, blame far-left views for costing the party seats". The Washington Post. November 6, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
     • "Progressive Caucus PAC backs Summer Lee in Pennsylvania". The Hill. April 4, 2022. Retrieved November 3, 2022. The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC is throwing its weight behind a democratic socialist running for the House in Pennsylvania.
     • Rebecca Shabad; Dartunorro Clark (March 26, 2019). "Senate fails to advance Green New Deal as Democrats protest McConnell 'sham vote'". NBC News. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019. The Senate on Tuesday failed to advance the Green New Deal, the ambitious plan to combat climate change proposed by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after what Democrats said was a politically-motivated show vote.
  4. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus: Caucus Members".
  5. ^ Hardisty, Jean (2000). Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence From The John Birch Society To The Promise Keepers. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0807043172.
  6. ^ "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".
  7. ^ Talbot, Margaret (October 5, 2015). "The Populist Prophet". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Brodey, Sam (July 21, 2015). "How Keith Ellison made the Congressional Progressive Caucus into a political force that matters". MinnPost. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Progressive Promise". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "The People's Budget" (PDF). Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  11. ^ Honda, Michael; Grijalva, Raul (April 11, 2011), "The only real Democratic budget", The Hill, retrieved March 24, 2018
  12. ^,less%20than%2020%20years%20old.
  13. ^ "Democrats introduce bill to hike federal minimum wage to $15 per hour", CNBC, January 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. February 1, 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Selyukh, Alina (February 8, 2021). "$15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Poverty But Cost Jobs, CBO Says". NPR. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would increase wages for at least 17 million people, but also put 1.4 million Americans out of work, according to a study by the Congressional Budget Office released on Monday.
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (February 8, 2021). "CBO report finds $15 minimum wage would cost jobs but lower poverty levels". The Washington Post. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would significantly reduce poverty and increase earnings for millions of low-wage workers, while adding to the federal deficit and cutting overall employment, according to a new study from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. ... On one hand, the CBO estimated that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would cost 1.4 million jobs and increase the deficit by $54 billion over 10 years. But it also estimated the policy would lift 900,000 people out of poverty and raise income for 17 million people — about 1 in 10 workers. Another 10 million who have wages just above that amount could potentially see increases, as well, the CBO reported.
  17. ^ "American Rescue Plan: What's in the House's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan", Washington Post, February 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "Senate passes $1.9 trillion Biden relief bill after voting overnight on amendments, sends measure back to House", Washington Post, March 6, 2021.
  19. ^ Rebecca Shabad; Dartunorro Clark (March 26, 2019). "Senate fails to advance Green New Deal as Democrats protest McConnell 'sham vote'". NBC News. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Jeremy Lovell (July 21, 2008) "Climate report calls for green 'New Deal'" Archived June 10, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, Reuters.
  21. ^ A Green New Deal: Discursive Review and Appraisal. Archived February 24, 2021, at the Wayback Machine Macroeconomics: Aggregative Models eJournal. Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Accessed March 14, 2019.
  22. ^ Hilary French, Michael Renner and Gary Gardner: Toward a Transatlantic Green New Deal Archived March 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine The authors state: "Support is growing around the world for an integrated response to the current economic and environmental crises, increasingly referred to as the "Green New Deal". The term is a modern-day variation of the U.S. New Deal, an ambitious effort launched by President Franklin Roosevelt to lift the United States out of the Great Depression. The New Deal of that era entailed a strong government role in economic planning and a series of stimulus packages launched between 1933 and 1938 that created jobs through ambitious governmental programs, including the construction of roads, trails, dams, and schools. Today's Green New Deal proposals are also premised on the importance of decisive governmental action, but incorporate policies to respond to pressing environmental challenges through a new paradigm of sustainable economic progress."
  23. ^ H.R. 676
  24. ^ a b "House Reps Introduce Medicare-for-All Bill" Becker's Hospital Review, Feb. 14, 2013
  25. ^ "Medicare for All bill loses its special number". Modern Healthcare. February 2, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Dingell, Jayapal and more than 100 Co-Sponsors Introduce Medicare For All Act of 2019". U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell. February 27, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "H.R.1384 – Medicare for All Act of 2019". U.S. Congress. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  28. ^ a b Krugman, Paul (June 13, 2005). "One Nation, Uninsured". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  29. ^ "Bernie Sanders to Sponsor Single-Payer Healthcare Bill". Newsweek. March 26, 2017.
  30. ^ RoseAnn DeMoro [@RoseAnnDeMoro] (September 13, 2017). ".@BernieSanders shouts out the Democrats that did the right thing in supporting #MedicareForAll. #WednesdayWisdom" (Tweet). Retrieved September 13, 2017 – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "115th United States Congress". U.S. Congress. 2017–2018.
  32. ^ Dayen, David; Grimm, Ryan (December 9, 2019). "House Progressives Challenge Nancy Pelosi on Drug-Pricing Bill". The Intercept. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  33. ^ Zhou, Li (December 12, 2019). "The House just passed an ambitious bill to lower prescription drug prices". Vox. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  34. ^ Pallone, Frank (September 8, 2020). "Cosponsors – H.R.3 – 116th Congress (2019–2020): Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act". Archived from the original on April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  35. ^ Chu, Judy (September 21, 2021). "H.R.3755 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Women's Health Protection Act of 2021". Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  36. ^ Kapur, Sahil; Vitali, Ali (February 28, 2022). "Senate rejects Democratic bill to codify abortion rights". NBC News. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  37. ^ Schonfeld, Zach (October 24, 2022). "Progressives urge Biden to push harder for Ukraine peace talks". The Hill. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  38. ^ Trudo, Hanna (October 25, 2022). "Progressive Caucus tries to clarify call for Biden to find diplomatic solution to Ukraine". The Hill. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  39. ^ Wang, Amy B; Abutaleb, Yasmeen; and Sotomayor, Marianna (October 25, 2022) "Liberal Democrats withdraw letter to Biden that urged him to rethink Ukraine strategy" The Washington Post
  40. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  41. ^ a b "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress". The Cook Political Report. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.

External links[edit]