Progressive Caucus Expands Influence Within House Democrats

This weekend, in an interview with Earl Hutchinson, U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey, Co-Chair of the House Progressive Caucus, gave a stark comparison of the fate of her caucus and the fate of members of the Blue Dog Coalition. Woolsey noted: “We had 83 members before the election. It is bicameral with House and Senate members. It’s by far the largest caucus in Congress. We lost four members this election. But we also gained a couple of new members. We will not have less than 80 members in the next Congress. The Blue Dog Democrats lost almost two thirds of their members.”

Here are the actual numbers: In the 111th Congress, the Progressive Caucus had 80 members in the House of Representatives (and three senators, plus two additional non-voting members of the U.S. House in the caucus). After the election, the House has 79 members of the Progressive Caucus. That’s a loss of one member in the House, but it’s nothing compared to the loss of the Blue Dogs, who went from 54 members in the 111th Congress to 26 in the 112th Congress.

Keep in mind that the number of Democrats in general was decreased by the 2010 election, and you’ll see that the strength of the Progressive Caucus within the House Democrats was dramatically increased by the election, while the strength of Blue Dogs was radically diminished. In the 111th Congress, the Progressive Caucus made up 32 percent of House Democrats. In the 112th Congress, they will make up 41 percent of House Democrats. In the 111th Congress, Blue Dogs were 21 percent of House Democrats. In January, they won’t be quite 14 percent.

Over the next couple of years, the Blue Dogs won’t have the power to make or break legislation as they used to. The Progressive Caucus, on the other hand, will have more power to define what it means to be a Democrat on Capitol Hill.


on “Progressive Caucus Expands Influence Within House Democrats
4 Comments on “Progressive Caucus Expands Influence Within House Democrats
  1. To Lynn Woolsey,
    Why did God have to put a man of color in the WhiteHouse, in order to awaken the people from a 389 year old slumber. How sad it is that it took such a great shock, to awaken the people, and its also sad that in just two years we have regressed into the darkness of American history. And now we are stumbling blindly down a path of fear and racial ignorance.

  2. To R. Lyons,

    God didn’t put Barack Obama in the White House. The voters among the American people did.

    We all have color. To say otherwise is to promote racial ignorance.

    What path of fear are you complaining against? Your comment itself contains plenty of fear.

    What exactly is supposed to have happened 389 years ago that put people to sleep?

  3. You’re right, Congress Watcher, we the people, elected President Obama with 10,000,000 more votes than his opponent. He won 270 electoral votes with 95 votes to spare. Some might called that an overwhelming victory. Now I just hope and pray that the Prez stop being a Martin Luther King (compromising) democrat and start being a Muhammad Ali (fighting) democrat like Pelosi, Woolsey, Boxer, Sanders, Brown – OH, me, etc.

  4. Pingback: How low will he go? Obama hits 39% job approval - Page 9 - U.S. Politics Online: A Political Discussion Forum

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