The Congress of the United States



The Congress of the United States

116th Congress 2017 – Present


What is Congress?

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.


What is a Caucus?

A closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy a presidential caucus; also: a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause.


I though it important to present the above definitions in light of the current number of Congressional Caucuses in operation today. As of 24 September 2018 there are at least 262 Congressional Caucuses making Capitol Hill in Washington quite literally one huge political swamp. Even the internet (World Wide Web) seems dwarfed in comparison.


We have a finite number of legislators – 435 in the House, 100 in the Senate. It is a given that every member of the 116th Congress belongs to at least 1 Caucus and is a wonder that anything gets accomplished at all. I haven’t even touched on the number of days per year that Congress is in session.


Powder Keg

When you liken Congress to a keg of gunpowder (Google it), the main stream media is the fuse, with journalists/talk show hosts matches and lighters, and every word, deed or action from President Trump as a spark one can easily see the combustible mix just waiting to explode on a daily, sometimes minute by minute basis.



Former President Barack Obama also recently spoke to ALL Congressional Freshmen in the House of Representatives. I asked myself – Why? Was it to give them a warm fuzzy about being elected into Congress? Or was it the community organizer in him that had to take all of these hot pistols (flashes in the pan if you will) and organize and invite them to become part of an effective Progressive political team?


Progressives were the topic recently used by former President Barack Obama as he made his appearance recently on the world stage in Europe and in America. He spoke as one still in authority, but that was community activism on a much bigger stage. I began thinking – Why was Obama speaking in Europe at all? By whose authority did he speak?


Let us look at the catch phrase word of today – Progressivism.


Congressional Progressive Caucus

That brings me to the Congressional Progressive Caucus which is a caucus WITHIN the Democratic Congressional Caucus WITHIN the United States Congress. So what is the CPC? The CPC is a left-leaning organization that works to advance progressive and liberal issues and positions and represents the progressive faction of the Democratic Party.



It was founded in 1991 (keep in mind who was President and what was going on in 1991) by six 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 House members joined soon thereafter, including Major Owens (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), David Bonior (D-MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Patsy Mink (D-HI), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Sanders was the convener and first CPC Chairman. Bill Goold served as Staff Coordinator for the Progressive Caucus in its early years until 1998.



The founding members of the CPC 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 detailed, comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America, which they termed “the most regressive tax proposals and reactionary social legislation the Congress had before it in 70 years”. The CPC’s ambitious agenda was framed as “The Progressive Promise: Fairness”.



The CPC advocates “universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare” (universal healthcare or single-payer healthcare), fair trade agreements, living wage laws, the right of all workers to organize into labor unions and engage in collective bargaining, the abolition of the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of same-sex marriage, U.S. participation in international treaties such as the climate change related Kyoto Accords, responsible reductions in profligate military expenditure, strict campaign finance reform laws, a crackdown on corporate welfare and influence, an increase in income tax rates on upper-middle and upper class households, tax cuts for the poor and an increase in welfare spending by the federal government.


As of the 116th Congress the Congressional Progressive Caucus has grown to 96 members out of 235 Democratic members of the House with 27 being members of the Congressional Black Caucus.




Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3, Tucson)

Ruben Gallego (AZ-7, Phoenix) – vice chair



Jared Huffman (CA-2, San Rafael)

Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11, Concord)

Barbara Lee (CA-13, Oakland) (CBC)

Ro Khanna (CA-17, Fremont) – first vice chair

Zoe Lofgren (CA-19, San Jose)

Jimmy Panetta (CA-20, Carmel Valley)

Katie Hill (CA-25, Santa Clarita)

Judy Chu (CA-27, El Monte)

Brad Sherman (CA-30, Sherman Oaks)

Grace Napolitano (CA-32, Norwalk)

Ted Lieu (CA-33, Los Angeles)

Jimmy Gomez (CA-34, Los Angeles)

Karen Bass (CA-37, Baldwin Hills) (CBC)

Linda Sanchez (CA-38, Lakewood)

Gil Cisneros (CA-39, Yorba Linda)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40, Los Angeles)

Mark Takano (CA-41, Riverside) – vice chair

Maxine Waters (CA-43, Inglewood) (CBC)

Nanette Barragán (CA-44, San Pedro)

Katie Porter (CA-45, Irvine)

Alan Lowenthal (CA-47, Long Beach)

Mike Levin (CA-49, San Juan Capistrano)



Joe Neguse (CO-2, Boulder) – vice chair



Rosa DeLauro (CT-3, New Haven)

Jahana Hayes (CT-5, Wolcott)



Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE at-large) (CBC)



Darren Soto (FL-9, Orlando)

Val Demings (FL-10, Orlando) (CBC)

Lois Frankel (FL-21, West Palm Beach)

Frederica Wilson (FL-24, Miami) (CBC)

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26, Miami)



Hank Johnson (GA-4, Lithonia) (CBC)

John Lewis (GA-5, Atlanta) (CBC)



Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2, Honolulu)



Chuy Garcia (IL-4, Chicago)

Danny Davis (IL-7, Chicago) (CBC)

Jan Schakowsky (IL-9, Chicago) – vice chair



André Carson (IN-7, Indianapolis) (CBC)



Dave Loebsack (IA-2, Iowa City)



John Yarmuth (KY-3, Louisville)



Cedric Richmond (LA-2, New Orleans) (CBC)



Chellie Pingree (ME-1, North Haven)

Jared Golden (ME-2, Lewiston)



Elijah Cummings (MD-7, Baltimore) (CBC)

Jamie Raskin (MD-8, Takoma Park)



Jim McGovern (MA-2, Worcester)

Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4, Brookline)

Katherine Clark (MA-5, Melrose) (CBC)

Ayanna Pressley (MA-7, Dorchester)



Dan Kildee (MI-5, Flint Township)

Andy Levin (MI-9, Bloomfield Township)

Debbie Dingell (MI-12, Dearborn)

Rashida Tlaib (MI-13, Detroit)

Brenda Lawrence (MI-14, Southfield) (CBC)



Angie Craig (MN-2, Eagan)

Ilhan Omar (MN-5, Minneapolis) – whip (CBC)



Bennie Thompson (MS-2, Bolton) (CBC)



Lacy Clay (MO-1, St. Louis) (CBC)



Steven Horsford (NV-4, Las Vegas)


New Jersey

Donald Norcross (NJ-1, Camden) – vice chair

Andy Kim (NJ-3, Bordentown)

Frank Pallone (NJ-6, Long Branch)

Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12, Trenton) (CBC)


New Mexico

Deb Haaland (NM-1, Albuquerque)


New York

Nydia Velázquez (NY-7, Brooklyn)

Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8, Brooklyn) (CBC)

Yvette Clarke (NY-9, Brooklyn) (CBC)

Jerrold Nadler (NY-10, Manhattan)

Carolyn Maloney (NY-12, Manhattan)

Adriano Espaillat (NY-13, Manhattan)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14, Bronx)

José Serrano (NY-15, Bronx)

Antonio Delgado (NY-19, Rhinebeck)

Joe Morelle (NY-25, Rochester)


North Carolina

Alma Adams (NC-12, Charlotte) (CBC)



Marcia Fudge (OH-11, Cleveland) (CBC)



Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1, Beaverton)

Earl Blumenauer (OR-3, Portland)

Peter DeFazio (OR-4, Springfield)



Brendan Boyle (PA-2, Philadelphia)

Dwight Evans (PA-3, Philadelphia) (CBC)

Madeleine Dean (PA-4, Abington Township)

Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5, Swarthmore)

Matt Cartwright (PA-8, Scranton)


Rhode Island

David Cicilline (RI-1, Providence) – vice chair



Steve Cohen (TN-9, Memphis)



Veronica Escobar (TX-16, El Paso) – vice chair

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18, Houston) – vice chair (CBC)

Sylvia Garcia (TX-29, Houston)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30, Dallas) (CBC)

Lloyd Doggett (TX-35, Austin)



Peter Welch (VT at-Large)



Don Beyer (VA-8, Alexandria)



Pramila Jayapal (WA-7, Seattle) – co-chair

Adam Smith (WA-9, Bellevue)



Mark Pocan (WI-2, Madison) – co-chair

Gwen Moore (WI-4, Milwaukee) (CBC)



Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia) (CBC)


(CBC) = Congressional Black Caucus




Congressional Caucus

A congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress that meets to pursue common legislative objectives. Formally, caucuses are formed as congressional member organizations (CMOs) through the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate and governed under the rules of these chambers. In addition to the term caucus, they are sometimes called conferences (especially Republican ones), coalitions, study groups, task forces, or working groups.


The Congress of the United States has become overly corrupt by allowing the widespread use of Caucuses to influence policy to the detriment of America’s working class by the creation of a newly formed Non-Working Non-Citizen Class. I have yet to breakdown the number of Caucuses controlled by political parties but it seems that a great many are Democratic Party entities which in the House are mainly funded by taxpayers. The aim of the so called “Peoples Party” (Democrats) is the rigid control and exploitation of the people (voters, taxpayers and all others) while demanding their praise and allegiance. – I am the Real Truckmaster!


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