Congressional Progressive Caucus

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Progressive Caucus
ChairPramila Jayapal
Deputy ChairKatie Porter
WhipIlhan Omar
Chair EmeritiBarbara Lee
Raúl Grijalva
Mark Pocan
Vice ChairsJamie Raskin
Marie Newman
Joe Neguse
Sheila Jackson Lee
Don Norcross
Rashida Tlaib
David Cicilline
Jesús Garcia
Bonnie Coleman
Founded1991; 30 years ago (1991)
Political positionLeft-wing[5]
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors    Blue, gold
Seats in House Democratic Caucus
93 / 220
Seats in the House
93 / 435

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a congressional caucus affiliated with the Democratic Party in the United States Congress.[6] The CPC represents the most left-leaning, progressive faction of the Democratic Party.[7][8] It was founded in 1991 and has generally grown since then.

As of July 22nd, 2021 of the 117th United States Congress, the CPC has 96 members (94 voting Representatives, 1 non-voting Delegate, and 1 Senator), making it one of the two largest ideological caucuses in the Democratic Party (with the similarly sized New Democrat Coalition) and the third 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.[9]

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."[10]

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
90 / 435
90 / 220

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.[11]

Budget proposal for 2012[edit]

In April 2011, the CPC released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012.[12] 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".[13]

Drug costs[edit]

In 2019, the CPC challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the details of a drug-pricing bill, H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.[14] The final version was the result of extensive negotiations between House Democratic leadership and members of the CPC.[15]

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)


All members are Democrats or caucus with the Democratic Party. In the 117th Congress, there are 96 declared Progressives, including 94 voting Representatives, one non-voting member and one Senator.[16]

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

Senate members[edit]

House members[edit]



















New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina



Rhode Island








Former members[edit]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Centrist House Democrats lash out at liberal colleagues, blame far-left views for costing the party seats". The Washington Post. 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  5. ^ Cunningham, Vinson (February 19, 2017). "Will Keith Ellison Move the Democrats Left?". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  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. ^ Talbot, Margaret. "The Populist Prophet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  10. ^ Brodey, Sam. "How Keith Ellison made the Congressional Progressive Caucus into a political force that matters". MinnPost. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  11. ^ "The Progressive Promise". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  12. ^ "The People's Budget" (PDF). Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  13. ^ Honda, Michael; Grijalva, Raul (April 11, 2011), "The only real Democratic budget", The Hill, retrieved March 24, 2018
  14. ^ Dayen, David; Grimm, Ryan (December 9, 2019). "House Progressives Challenge Nancy Pelosi on Drug-Pricing Bill". The Intercept. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  15. ^ Zhou, Li (2019-12-12). "The House just passed an ambitious bill to lower prescription drug prices". Vox. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  16. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 2021-07-23.

External links[edit]