Rep. Raul M. Grijalva , co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, championed the group’s Election Day gains.
Touting the fact that the Democratic Caucus is majority-minority for the first time ever, and a reflection of the future of the country, has been a consistent talking point in the days since the elections.
“Last night, the American people spoke, and they chose leaders that better reflect the diversity of our nation,” said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of CAPAC, according to the Rafu Shimpo Japanese-English newspaper in Los Angeles.
The Progressive Caucus will remain the largest ideological bloc among House Democrats, and co-chairman Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., touted the group’s gains in a post for the liberal blog Daily Kos.
“You helped send a great team to make the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) bigger, stronger and even more diverse for the next two years,” Grijalva wrote.
One complicating factor in assessing the new members for the CPC and other ideological caucuses is that some are being claimed as new recruits by multiple groups.
For example, both the New Democrats and the CPC are counting Patrick Murphy from Florida as one of their own. Murphy declared victory against Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., but West has not yet conceded. The race is one of only a handful that has not yet been called.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say this race was a little personal for [Progressive Action PAC], considering Rep. West called the Progressive Caucus a bunch of communists,” Grijalva wrote in his Daily Kos post.
While the Progressive Caucus is the largest ideological bloc among House Democrats, it doesn’t come close to having the sway the conservative Republican Study Committee has in the Republican Conference.
The RSC had more than 160 members in the 112th Congress, about 70 percent of the GOP conference.
Only House members, not senators, were included in counts for each caucus.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.