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Congressional Progressive Caucus announces new leadership team

Congressional Progressive Caucus announces new leadership team
© Bonnie Cash

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) elected its leadership Wednesday night as a broadening left flank looks to flex its muscle in the House.

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Democrats snipe on policy, GOP brawls over Trump House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-Wash.), a current CPC co-chairwoman, will be the caucus’s sole leader in the next Congress. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), who flipped a GOP-held seat in 2018 and has developed a national profile, will serve as deputy chairwoman, and Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar Omar: 'Disappointing' that we're 'sending money to less people than the Trump administration' House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-Minn.), who also has a national platform, will be the CPC’s top vote-counter.

“We have massive crises knocking at our nation’s door, and the work of the Progressive Caucus has never been more important. The American people need Congress to lead with vision, conviction, empathy, and dedication to people and families in every community who are struggling right now,” said Jayapal. “It’s time for Congress to act boldly, restoring power to where it belongs — with the people.”

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“In 2018, many of my Democratic colleagues and I successfully ran campaigns rooted in progressive values. Rather than shying away from our core principles, we embraced them — making it clear that a progressive agenda is not only the right policy for America, but also a winning political message,” added Porter.

Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanDemocrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Progressives grumble but won't sink relief bill over fewer stimulus checks Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (D-Wis.), a current co-chairman with Jayapal, will be a chairman emeritus, along with Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeePro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Progressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Lawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism MORE (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

The CPC also tapped a number of high-profile incoming members to serve in its leadership, including electing Rep.-elect Marie Newman (D-Ill.) as its vice chair for communications and Rep.-elect Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) as a deputy whip.

The announcement comes as the progressive flank of the Democratic conference looks to bolster its efforts in the House after seeing its numbers increase with the elections of candidates like Newman, Jones, Reps.-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and more.

The CPC, with its larger numbers, could see more sway in pushing legislation, though Democrats will have a razor-thin majority in the House next year and will be hyperfocused on limiting defections.

The announcement also follows reports that some members were disgruntled with the CPC reducing itself to one chairperson, with some lawmakers voicing concerns to media outlets that the move was a power grab by Jayapal, a claim she contested. 

“The goal is really to make the CPC more member-driven and also more effective and more nimble,” Jayapal told Politico in October. “I just don’t think there’s anyone who knows who would question all of the different ways that I’ve worked to help strengthen the progressive caucus and this is just a continuation of that.”