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Congressional Progressive Caucus facts for kids

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Progressive Caucus
Abbreviation CPC
Chair Pramila Jayapal
Founded 1991; 33 years ago (1991)
Ideology Progressivism
Political position Left-wing
National affiliation Democratic Party
Seats in the Senate Democratic Caucus
1 / 51
Seats in the Senate
1 / 100
Seats in the House Democratic Caucus
96 / 213
Seats in the House
96 / 435

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a congressional caucus affiliated with the Democratic Party in the United States Congress. The CPC represents the furthest left-leaning faction of the Democratic Party. It was founded in 1991 and has grown since then, becoming the second-largest Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives.

As of March 6, 2024, the CPC has 98 members (96 voting Representatives, 1 non-voting Delegate, and 1 Senator), making it the second-largest ideological caucus in the House Democratic Caucus by voting members, behind the New Democrat Coalition. The CPC is chaired by U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). In addition, the CPC is affiliated with the Congressional Political Caucus PAC, a political action committee which is led by members of the caucus.


The CPC was established in 1991 by U.S. Representatives Ron Dellums (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Thomas Andrews (D-ME), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Additional Representatives joined soon thereafter, including Major Owens (D-NY), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), David Bonior (D-MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Patsy Mink (D-HI), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Sanders was the first CPC Chairman.

The founding CPC members were concerned about the economic hardship imposed by the deepening recession and the growing inequality brought about by the timidity of the Democratic Party response in the early 1990s. On January 3, 1995, at a standing room only news conference on Capitol Hill, they were the first group inside Congress to chart a comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America. The CPC's agenda was framed as "The Progressive Promise: Fairness".

List of chairs

Pramila Jayapal, official portrait, 116th Congress
Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, from Washington's 7th congressional district
Term start Term end Chair(s)
1991 1999
Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
1999 2003
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
2003 2005
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
2005 2009 Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
2009 2011 Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
2011 2017 Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
2017 2019 Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
2019 2021 Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
2021 present
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

Policy positions

The CPC advocates "a universal, high-quality, Medicare for All health care system for all", living wage laws, reductions in military expenditure, a crackdown on corporate greed, putting an end to mass incarceration, supporting and implementing swift measures to start reversing climate change, immigration policies that are humane, and reparations.


In April 2011, the CPC released a proposed "People's Budget" for fiscal year 2012. Two of its proponents stated: "By implementing a fair tax code, by building a resilient American economy, and by bringing our troops home, we achieve a budget surplus of over $30 billion by 2021 and we end up with a debt that is less than 65% of our GDP. This is what sustainability looks like".

In 2019, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed H.R.582, The Raise the Wage Act, which would have gradually raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. It was not taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate. In January 2021, Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives reintroduced the bill. In February 2021, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 which estimated that incrementally raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would benefit 17 million workers, but would also reduce employment by 1.4 million people. On February 27, 2021, the Democratic-controlled House passed the American Rescue Plan pandemic relief package, which included a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. The measure was ultimately removed from the Senate version of the bill.

Health care

The Medicare for All Act is a bill first introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) in 2003, with 38 co-sponsors. In 2019, the original 16-year-old proposal was renumbered, and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced a broadly similar, but more detailed, bill, HR 1384, in the 116th Congress. As of November 3,  2019 (2019 -11-03), it had 116 co-sponsors still in the House at the time, or 49.8% of House Democrats.

The act would establish a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, the rough equivalent of Canada's Medicare and Taiwan's Bureau of National Health Insurance, among other examples. Under a single-payer system, most medical care would be paid for by the federal government, ending the need for private health insurance and premiums, and re-casting private insurance companies as providing purely supplemental coverage, to be used when non-essential care is sought. The national system would be paid for in part through taxes replacing insurance premiums, but also by savings realized through the provision of preventive universal health care and the elimination of insurance company overhead and hospital billing costs. On September 13, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a parallel bill in the United States Senate, with 16 co-sponsors. The act would establish a universal single-payer health care system in the United States.

In 2019, the CPC challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the details of a drug-pricing bill, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The final version was the result of extensive negotiations between House Democratic leadership and members of the CPC. The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on September 19, 2019, during the 116th Congress by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). The bill received 106 co-sponsors. It passed the House on December 12, 2019, by a vote of (230-192). All Democrats voted for the measure, and all but 2 Republicans voted against it. The bill was then sent to the Senate. The Senate, having been controlled by Republicans, did not bring the bill up for a vote.

Climate change

A prominent 2019 attempt to get legislation passed for a Green New Deal was sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) during the 116th United States Congress, though it failed to advance in the Senate. Green New Deal proposals call for public policy to address climate change along with achieving other social aims like job creation and reducing economic inequality. The name refers back to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The Green New Deal combines Roosevelt's economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.

LGBT rights

In July 2022, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced the re-introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, which was revised to include protections for interracial marriages to codify Loving v. Virginia. The Act passed the House (267–157) on July 19, 2022, with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting in the affirmative.

The Senate considered the bill, but it was initially unclear if it would receive enough votes to end debate. On November 14, 2022, a group of bipartisan senators, including Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced they had reached an amendment compromise to include language for religious protections and clarify that the bill did not legalize polygamous marriage. The amendment specifies that nonprofit religious organizations will not be required to provide services for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage. Shortly after, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the Respect for Marriage Act would be put up for a full vote.

On November 16, 2022, the Senate invoked cloture on the motion to proceed (62–37) to the amended bill. All 50 Democratic senators and 12 Republicans (Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Cynthia Lummis, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis, and Todd Young) voted in favor of advancing the bill. On November 29, 2022, the Senate voted 61–36 to pass the bill. Voting in favor of the bill were 49 Democrats and the same 12 Republicans who had voted to advance it. Two Republicans (Ben Sasse and Patrick Toomey) and one Democrat (Raphael Warnock, who co-sponsored the bill) did not vote.

Foreign policy


Representative Lois Frankel (FL-22) left the caucus on November 20, 2023, and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) left the caucus on February 21, 2024, both over disagreements regarding support for Israel in the Israel–Hamas war.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

In October 2022, 30 members of the caucus urged the Biden administration to seek a negotiated, diplomatic end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine while advocating for continued economic and military support to Ukraine.

The next day, after a wave of criticism, the letter was swiftly withdrawn on the basis that peaceful negotiations with Putin in current situation are "nearly impossible". Jayapal reasserted the Democrats' support for Ukraine and said the letter had been drafted several months ago and "released by staff without vetting."

Electoral results

Congressional Progressive Caucus Membership 118th Congress
Congressional Progressive Caucus from the United States House of Representatives in the 118th United States Congress
Election year Senate House of Representatives
Democratic Caucus ± Democratic Caucus ±
2 / 53
77 / 193
1 / 55
Decrease 1
68 / 200
Decrease 9
1 / 46
68 / 188
1 / 48
78 / 193
Increase 10
1 / 47
96 / 233
Increase 18
1 / 50
95 / 220
Decrease 1
1 / 51
100 / 213
Increase 5


All members are Democrats or caucus with the Democratic Party. In the 118th Congress, there are currently 98 declared progressives, including 96 voting Representatives, 1 non-voting Delegate, and 1 Senator. Representative Jennifer McClellan (VA-4) joined the caucus after assuming office in March 2023 while Representative David Cicilline (RI-1) resigned from the House on May 31, 2023. Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-22), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Ruben Gallego (AZ-3), and Zoe Lofgren (CA-18) have since left the caucus.

Senate members

State Party CPVI Member
Vermont Independent D+16 Sanders, BernieBernie Sanders

House members

Katie Porter
Diana DeGette
Jill Tokuda
Jonathan Jackson
Chellie Pingree
Melanie Stansbury
Suzanne Bonamici
Andrea Salinas
Matt Cartwright
Chris Deluzio
Steve Cohen
Jasmine Crockett
Greg Casar
State District CPVI Member
Arizona AZ-7 D+15 Grijalva, RaúlRaúl Grijalva
California CA-2 D+23 Huffman, JaredJared Huffman
CA-8 D+26 Garamendi, JohnJohn Garamendi
CA-10 D+18 DeSaulnier, MarkMark DeSaulnier
CA-12 D+40 Lee, BarbaraBarbara Lee
CA-17 D+23 Khanna, RoRo Khanna
CA-19 D+18 Panetta, JimmyJimmy Panetta
CA-28 D+16 Chu, JudyJudy Chu
CA-31 D+15 Napolitano, GraceGrace Napolitano
CA-32 D+20 Sherman, BradBrad Sherman
CA-34 D+32 Gomez, JimmyJimmy Gomez
CA-36 D+21 Lieu, TedTed Lieu
CA-37 D+37 Kamlager-Dove, SydneySydney Kamlager-Dove
CA-38 D+14 Sánchez, LindaLinda Sánchez
CA-39 D+12 Takano, MarkMark Takano
CA-42 D+22 Garcia, RobertRobert Garcia
CA-43 D+32 Waters, MaxineMaxine Waters
CA-44 D+24 Barragán, NanetteNanette Barragán
CA-47 D+3 Porter, KatieKatie Porter
CA-49 D+3 Levin, MikeMike Levin
CA-51 D+12 Jacobs, SaraSara Jacobs
CA-52 D+18 Vargas, JuanJuan Vargas
Colorado CO-1 D+29 DeGette, DianaDiana DeGette
CO-2 D+17 Neguse, JoeJoe Neguse
Connecticut CT-3 D+7 DeLauro, RosaRosa DeLauro
Delaware DE-AL D+7 Blunt Rochester, LisaLisa Blunt Rochester
District of Columbia DC-AL D+43 Holmes Norton, EleanorEleanor Holmes Norton
Florida FL-9 D+8 Soto, DarrenDarren Soto
FL-10 D+14 Frost, MaxwellMaxwell Frost
FL-20 D+25 Cherfilus-McCormick, SheilaSheila Cherfilus-McCormick
FL-24 D+25 Wilson, FredericaFrederica Wilson
Georgia GA-4 D+27 Johnson, HankHank Johnson
GA-5 D+32 Williams, NikemaNikema Williams
Hawaii HI-2 D+14 Tokuda, JillJill Tokuda
Illinois IL-1 D+20 Jackson, JonathanJonathan Jackson
IL-3 D+20 Ramirez, DeliaDelia Ramirez
IL-4 D+22 García, JesúsJesús García
IL-7 D+36 Davis, DannyDanny Davis
IL-9 D+19 Schakowsky, JanJan Schakowsky
Indiana IN-7 D+19 Carson, AndréAndré Carson
Kentucky KY-3 D+9 McGarvey, MorganMorgan McGarvey
Louisiana LA-2 D+25 Carter, TroyTroy Carter
Maine ME-1 D+9 Pingree, ChellieChellie Pingree
Maryland MD-7 D+30 Mfume, KweisiKweisi Mfume
MD-8 D+29 Raskin, JamieJamie Raskin
Massachusetts MA-2 D+13 McGovern, JimJim McGovern
MA-3 D+11 Trahan, LoriLori Trahan
MA-7 D+35 Pressley, AyannaAyanna Pressley
Michigan MI-6 D+11 Dingell, DebbieDebbie Dingell
MI-12 D+23 Tlaib, RashidaRashida Tlaib
MI-13 D+23 Thanedar, ShriShri Thanedar
Minnesota MN-5 D+30 Omar, IlhanIlhan Omar
Missouri MO-1 D+27 Bush, CoriCori Bush
Nevada NV-4 D+3 Horsford, StevenSteven Horsford
New Jersey NJ-1 D+10 Norcross, DonaldDonald Norcross
NJ-3 D+5 Kim, AndyAndy Kim
NJ-6 D+8 Pallone, FrankFrank Pallone
NJ-12 D+12 Watson Coleman, BonnieBonnie Watson Coleman
New Mexico NM-1 D+5 Stansbury, MelanieMelanie Stansbury
NM-3 D+4 Leger Fernandez, TeresaTeresa Leger Fernandez
New York NY-6 D+15 Meng, GraceGrace Meng
NY-7 D+31 Velázquez, NydiaNydia Velázquez
NY-9 D+25 Clarke, YvetteYvette Clarke
NY-10 D+35 Goldman, DanDan Goldman
NY-12 D+34 Nadler, JerryJerry Nadler
NY-13 D+38 Espaillat, AdrianoAdriano Espaillat
NY-14 D+28 Ocasio-Cortez, AlexandriaAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez
NY-16 D+20 Bowman, JamaalJamaal Bowman
NY-20 D+7 Tonko, PaulPaul Tonko
North Carolina NC-4 D+16 Foushee, ValerieValerie Foushee
NC-12 D+13 Adams, AlmaAlma Adams
Ohio OH-11 D+28 Brown, ShontelShontel Brown
Oregon OR-1 D+18 Bonamici, SuzanneSuzanne Bonamici
OR-3 D+22 Blumenauer, EarlEarl Blumenauer
OR-4 D+4 Hoyle, ValVal Hoyle
OR-6 D+4 Salinas, AndreaAndrea Salinas
Pennsylvania PA-2 D+20 Boyle, BrendanBrendan Boyle
PA-3 D+39 Evans, DwightDwight Evans
PA-4 D+7 Dean, MadeleineMadeleine Dean
PA-5 D+14 Gay Scanlon, MaryMary Gay Scanlon
PA-8 R+4 Cartwright, MattMatt Cartwright
PA-12 D+8 Lee, SummerSummer Lee
PA-17 EVEN Deluzio, ChrisChris Deluzio
Tennessee TN-9 D+22 Cohen, SteveSteve Cohen
Texas TX-16 D+17 Escobar, VeronicaVeronica Escobar
TX-18 D+23 Jackson Lee, SheilaSheila Jackson Lee
TX-29 D+18 Garcia, SylviaSylvia Garcia
TX-30 D+27 Crockett, JasmineJasmine Crockett
TX-35 D+21 Casar, GregGreg Casar
TX-37 D+24 Doggett, LloydLloyd Doggett
Vermont VT-AL D+16 Balint, BeccaBecca Balint
Virginia VA-4 D+16 McClellan, JenniferJennifer McClellan
VA-8 D+26 Beyer, DonDon Beyer
Washington WA-7 D+36 Jayapal, PramilaPramila Jayapal
WA-9 D+21 Smith, AdamAdam Smith
Wisconsin WI-2 D+19 Pocan, MarkMark Pocan
WI-4 D+25 Moore, GwenGwen Moore

Affiliate organizations

The CPC is affiliated with the Congressional Political Caucus PAC, a political action committee which was established in 2009 and is led by members of the caucus to endorse and fundraise for candidates. In 2018, the caucus established the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center and Progressive Caucus Action Fund, a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), respectively, to coordinate messaging and policy initiatives between the caucus and supportive organizations.

See also

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