Congressional Progressive Caucus

Why 19 Democrats and 109 Republicans voted against the government funding deal
Democratic defections were mostly Hispanic Caucus members, progressives concerned about immigration enforcement

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined 18 other House Democrats and 109 House Republicans in voting against the compromise spending package Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats were just two votes short Thursday night of being able to clear a fiscal 2019 appropriations package without Republican help, while less than half of the GOP conference voted for the bill to avert another government shutdown.

That dynamic may foreshadow battles ahead as the new House Democratic majority will try to exert its influence over government spending while still having to deal with a Republican president and Senate. 

What’s in a position? This is how caucuses show their strength
Many congressional caucuses take official positions to demonstrate the amount of support for specific policy ideas

New Democrat Coalition Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., said the group changed its bylaws to make it easier to take official positions as a coalition. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The New Democrat Coalition has amended its bylaws to make it easier for the group of centrist Democrats to take official positions on policy ideas or legislation — a tool used by congressional caucuses to show their strength as they try to line up support behind specific policy ideas or legislation. 

Procedures for taking an official position vary by caucus. Most include a vote of their members, but thresholds for what level of a majority is needed to adopt the position differ among caucuses. 

House Democrats’ New Elected Leadership Team Is More Progressive and Diverse
On average, new leadership team is also younger in terms of age and length of service

The incoming House Democratic leadership team poses for a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Front row, from left: Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Back row, from left: Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Katie Hill, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The newly elected House Democratic leadership team for the 116th Congress will be more progressive, diverse and younger in terms of both age and length of service compared to the current one. 

That should generally please Democrats who called for changes in their leadership team, despite the top three long-reigning leaders remaining in charge. 

Jayapal Joins Pocan As Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Ro Khanna replaces Jayapal as the caucus’s first vice chair

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress.

The CPC — which will have more than 90 members next year — held its leadership elections Thursday, which also saw California Rep. Ro Khanna chosen to replace Jayapal as first vice chair. 

House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms
Progressive Caucus, New Democrats, Blue Dogs tout their expanding ranks

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan expects his group to see a net gain of 13 members, not counting the uncalled races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

Progressive Caucus Launches Center for Policy Development, Outreach
The center’s board raised $1.5 million to hire an initial staff of 8 to 10 people

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan, D-Wis., announced the launch of a center to coordinate progressive policy development, messaging and outreach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday announced the launch of a center that will coordinate progressive policy development, messaging and outreach inside and outside Congress. 

The center is not yet fully operational, but it starts off with a board of directors that has spent the past four and a half months raising money to fund staff for next year.

Minnesota Democrat Wins Congressional Progressive Caucus Backing

Craig is seeking the DFL endorsement for the seat currently held by Kline, above. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig won the backing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Wednesday in her quest to secure the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota's open 2nd District.  

Securing the support of 72 members of Congress is a strong boost for Craig, who will be competing with physician Mary Lawrence for the party's support at its convention next spring.