Pocan won’t seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said Tuesday that he won’t seek another term leading the Congressional Progressive Caucus, opening up a key position in House Democrats’ liberal wing in the next session of Congress that begins in January.
Pocan, who has served as co-chair since 2017, said he will continue serving as a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) PAC, the group’s campaign arm.
He and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) were elected as CPC co-chairs after the November 2018 elections, when Democrats won the House majority.
Pocan said in a statement that “it has been an honor to help lead our members to important victories, both inside the Capitol and electorally.”
Next in line to succeed Pocan as co-chair could be Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who currently serves as first vice chair.
Khanna this week expressed interest in the latest $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package offer from the Trump administration, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is continuing to press for a more expansive deal closer to Democrats’ $2.2 trillion proposal.
“Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court,” Khanna tweeted on Sunday.
The caucus also has 10 vice chairs: Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.).
Cicilline, who leads House Democrats’ messaging arm, and Clark, the Democratic caucus vice chair, are both running for Assistant Speaker, the fourth-ranking slot in House Democratic leadership.
More than 90 House Democrats are currently members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which does not always vote as a bloc.
The members include prominent progressives such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) as well as some more moderate Democrats allied with Democratic leadership.