Congressional Progressive Caucus

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Progressive Caucus
Co-ChairsRaúl Grijalva
Mark Pocan
First Vice ChairPramila Jayapal
WhipMatt Cartwright
Vice ChairsDavid Cicilline
Keith Ellison
Ruben Gallego
Ro Khanna
Sheila Jackson Lee
Jamie Raskin
Jan Schakowsky
Mark Takano
Founded1991; 27 years ago (1991)
Modern liberalism[2]
Social democracy[3]
Political positionCenter-left to Left-wing[4]
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors     Blue
Seats in the Senate
1 / 100
Seats in House Democratic Caucus
75 / 193
Seats in the House
75 / 435

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a membership organization within the Democratic congressional caucus in the United States Congress.[5] The CPC is a left-leaning organization that works to advance progressive and liberal issues and positions and represents the progressive faction of the Democratic Party.[6][7] It was founded in 1991 and has grown steadily since then, having more recently added 20 members since 2005 and having hired its first full-time Executive Director, Bill Goold, in May of that year. Subsequent Executive Directors have included Andrea Miller (2009–2011) and Brad Bauman (2011–2014). With 78 members, it is currently the largest Democratic congressional caucus. The CPC is currently co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Mark Pocan (D-WI). The current Executive Director is Mike Darner. 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 CPC was established in 1991 by six members of the United States House of Representatives, namely 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 House Members 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), 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). Sanders was the convener and first CPC Chairman. Bill Goold served as Staff Coordinator for the Progressive Caucus in its early years until 1998.

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 detailed, comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America, which they termed "the most regressive tax proposals and reactionary social legislation the Congress had before it in 70 years". The CPC's ambitious agenda was framed as "The Progressive Promise: Fairness".

Budget proposal for 2012[edit]

In April 2011, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012.[8] 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".[9]


The CPC advocates "universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare" (universal healthcare or single-payer 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 the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of same-sex marriage, U.S. participation in international treaties such as the climate change related Kyoto Accords, strict campaign finance reform laws, 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.[10]

List of Chairs[edit]

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


House members[edit]

Congressional Progressive Caucus from the United States House of Representatives in the 115th United States Congress

All members are members of the Democratic Party or caucus with the Democratic Party. In the 115th Congress, there are currently 77 declared Progressives, including 75 voting Representatives, one non-voting Delegate and one Senator.

Senate members[edit]

Incoming members/116th Congress[11][edit]

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. ^ Cunningham, Vinson (February 19, 2017). "Will Keith Ellison Move the Democrats Left?". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus: Caucus Members".
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "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".
  8. ^ "The People's Budget" (PDF). Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  9. ^ Honda, Michael; Grijalva, Raul (April 11, 2011), "The only real Democratic budget", The Hill, retrieved March 24, 2018
  10. ^ "The Progressive Promise". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  11. ^ "CPC new member press conference". Fox News - Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n
  13. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus".

External links[edit]