The Rise of the Pragmatic Democrat
Blue Dogs and New Democrats Continue to Grow their Ranks

January 30, 2019 by TWN Staff

Much attention has been paid in the months since the midterm elections to several high profile members of the House Democratic Caucus, many of whom represent the far left of the party. In taking a cursory look at the Democrats elected to the House in November, one might assume the balance of power does in fact lie with the liberal wing. However, as Democrats settle in to the 116th Congress, it is becoming clear that the more pragmatic, centrist members of the Caucus will have a significant impact on the agenda in Washington.

In fact, in a recent poll by Progressive Policy Institute it was found that “’radical pragmatism’ might be the better bet for delivering the results that Americans crave in a way that rings true to their values.” They also “found an electorate hungering for progress on crucial issues but far more pragmatic about what the solutions should be than either the extreme left or right is currently calling for.”

The growing number of Democrats in the House who are taking a more pragmatic approach to legislating is reflected in the growing numbers of Blue Dogs and New Democrats. The Blue Dogs added three new members on Tuesday – Representatives Ed Case (HI-01), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), and Kendra Horn (OK-05) – bringing their ranks to 27. The Coalition recently flexed its policy muscles by insisting that Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rules be included in the House Rules Package, a move that was not popular with some members on the far left.

“We’re proud to welcome Reps. Case, Cunningham, and Horn to the Blue Dog Coalition,” said Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications, of the additions. “These Members have come to Congress with the purpose to serve their districts first and work across the aisle to get things done for their constituents. Their records and their policy priorities make these members a natural fit for the Coalition. They care deeply about getting our nation’s fiscal house in order, strengthening our national defense, and creating a path to prosperity for the middle class. We look forward to their contributions to the Coalition as we look to improve the lives of all Americans.”

The New Democrat Coalition has also recently added nine new members, bringing the group’s membership to 101, making it the largest ideological caucus within the House Democratic Caucus. 31 out of the 40 freshman Members representing red-to-blue seats Democrats flipped in November are members of the coalition.

New Democrat Coalition members incluce Cindy Axne (IA-03), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Lori Trahan (MA-03) and David Trone (MD-06).

“Now at more than 100-strong, the New Democrat Coalition will continue to push Congress to look at old problems through a new lens. We are laser-focused on our common denominator: we are here to get something done. New Democrats are eager to grow the pie, create jobs in every part of the country, and build an economy where businesses innovate. Together we can work to create more economic opportunities for more people in more places,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, New Democrat Coalition Chair.

Spotlight

Hoyer: 'Senate Has a Responsibility to Act,' After House Democrats Pass 10 Spending Bills Federal Budget
Hoyer: 'Senate Has a Responsibility to Act,' After House Democrats Pass 10 Spending Bills
June 28, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - As they head back to their districts for the week-long July 4 district work period, House Democrats have reason to feel proud and maybe, just a little bit tired. For the first time in 13 years, the House has passed 10 appropriations bills before... Read More

News Media Alliance Seeks Anti-Trust Exemption to Battle Tech Giants Media
News Media Alliance Seeks Anti-Trust Exemption to Battle Tech Giants
June 14, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A House panel began its inquiry into the largely unchecked power of the nation's largest technology and social media firms Tuesday by focusing on the role the companies have played in reducing the news media to a mere shadow of its former self. "This... Read More

America’s Broadband Mapping Crisis and How to Fix It Rural
America’s Broadband Mapping Crisis and How to Fix It
June 11, 2019
by Sean Trambley

The Federal Communications Commission and Congress have long sought to map specific regions’ access to broadband services in order to help policymakers identify unserved areas. The Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2019, introduced last week in the House of Representatives by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.,... Read More

George Washington to Citizens United: A History of Campaign Finance Reform Campaign Finance
George Washington to Citizens United: A History of Campaign Finance Reform
May 21, 2019
by Dan McCue

From the very beginning of the Republic, campaign finance has been a hard subject to discuss in polite company. In a capitalist society, things, including access to whatever serves as the public megaphone of the era, simply cost money. And in a Democracy where almost everyone,... Read More

Q&A with Republican Study Committee Chair, Rep. Mike Johnson Spotlight
Q&A with Republican Study Committee Chair, Rep. Mike Johnson
May 17, 2019
by TWN Staff

What is your primary objective for the Caucus during the 116th Congress? Throughout its history, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) has been referred to as the “intellectual arsenal” of conservatism in the House, and it serves a number of important functions. We are the largest caucus... Read More

Citing Threats to National Security, Three Women in Congress Take Climate Change Head On National Security
Citing Threats to National Security, Three Women in Congress Take Climate Change Head On
May 3, 2019
by Dan McCue

Three newly elected Democratic members of Congress, all of them women and all with backgrounds in either law enforcement or the armed forces, are concerned that climate change impacts are harming military readiness at the same time they are increasing global instability. The tie that binds... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top