Congress' Progressive Caucus Characterized by Varying Lassitude
Although the Congressional Progressive Caucus has developed a reputation as a take-no-prisoners group in the House of Representatives, organized and relentless in its pursuit of radical legislation, the reputation doesn’t match reality. A look at the record of the Progressive Caucus shows wide variation among members in the level of support for both particular bills and for a broad slate of progressive legislation.
Of 72 CPC members with full voting privileges in the House of Representatives, only 15% have lent their support to a bill that repeals the Military Commissions Act and none have written or cosponsored any legislation to reform or repeal the FISA Amendments Act. Only 6 out of the 72 full CPC members in the House have shown support on 2/3 or more of a slate of 20 progressive bills:
Rep. James McGovern (D-MA, District 3). Record of support: 71%
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA, District 9). Record of support: 71%
Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL, District 9). Record of support: 79%
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ, District 7). Record of Support: 79%
Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA, District 51). Record of support: 79%
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY, District 22). Record of support: 86%
Only 14 out of the 72 — just 19% — have supported half or more of the slate of progressive legislation.
Is this the record of a strongly progressive, highly cohesive, intimidatingly effective caucus?