Congressional progressives get their own center

The Congressional Progressive Caucus unveiled a new policy center Tuesday, aiming to strengthen the already ...

Posted: Oct 10, 2018 4:06 AM
Updated: Oct 10, 2018 4:06 AM

The Congressional Progressive Caucus unveiled a new policy center Tuesday, aiming to strengthen the already largest bloc of House Democrats in anticipation of the House majority flipping after the midterms.

With 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) components, the center -- which is named the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center -- will work to align messaging and policy initiatives between progressive outside groups and progressive members of Congress — a strategy that those on the left say will help leverage their power next year.

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Pramila Jayapal

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US Federal elections

US political parties

US Presidential elections

Rep. Mark Pocan, co-chairman of the caucus, said that the ramped-up staffing and extra capacity will help the caucus "finally flex that muscle of having so many members of Congress who are part of our caucus."

Pocan and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, first vice chairwoman of the caucus, said the group has so far raised $1.5 million for the first year of the center, while donors have made a three-year commitment for a total of $4.5 million over the first three years. They plan to hire nine staff members to work on outreach, policy, fundraising and communications -- along with three to five fellows to be placed in offices of progressive members on Capitol Hill.

"What that allows us to do is ... connect all the policy research, work that's being done on the outside, the organizing network, and the strategy to the work that's being done on the inside," Jayapal said. "I think that's a really crucial piece of the infrastructure that's been missing."

With 78 current members, the caucus represents more than a third of the current Democratic caucus, and they anticipate adding more to their numbers with some of the 40 candidates the group's political campaign arm has endorsed this cycle. The caucus also expects 13 of its members to become committee chairs if Democrats win the majority.

Among their top priorities are ideas that include Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college, expanding collective bargaining rights, overhauling the nation's immigration laws and addressing climate change.

With the new center, progressives hope to better coordinate on research and messaging to help keep the large, diverse caucus on the same page and potentially vote as a powerful bloc on key issues.

"Sometimes people end up having to rely on K street lobbyists instead of some of the real tangible work," said Jayapal. "Our power is always greater when we leverage it as a bloc. ... I'm sure there will be times when we're extremely successful at that and times when it's harder. We're trying to do as much as we can to bring unity to a majority of the members of the caucus."

While the broader Democratic caucus has remained united on major votes during the past eight years as a minority, it's unclear yet whether they'll stay unified if they take the majority. Since the 2016 presidential race, when Sen. Bernie Sanders -- the only Senate member of the CPC -- launched a serious primary challenge against Hillary Clinton, the schism over which direction the Democratic Party will take has become a prominent theme in Democratic politics.

Another large caucus, with 68 members, is the New Democrat Coalition with more moderate Democrats that seek bipartisan solutions. They, too, have been laying out policy proposals over the past year, focusing on issues like housing, trade, infrastructure, cybersecurity, health care and making changes to the US tax system. Some of its members also belong to the Blue Dog Coalition and the Blue Collar Caucus.

Jayapal acknowledged that "like any family," the Democratic caucus will have differing viewpoints. "It's not like the day after the election, everybody is going to be on the same page," she said. But the new center, she added, will ideally help progressives convey their ideas to all Democrats, including centrists.

Ultimately, she added, Democrats agree on one thing: Winning the White House in 2020.

"We're working so ... that we elect a Democratic president who can reverse some of the terrible things that (President Donald) Trump has done but also take us down a path of prosperity," she said. "That unites the caucus most of all."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 28°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 31°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
Starkville
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 34°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather