Morning Business: Countdown to New Caucus

Posted February 10, 2009 at 6:32pm

After weeks of recruiting, the Populist Caucus is ready for liftoff. The group, formed by sophomore Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), officially launches Thursday with 20 other House Democrats aboard.

[IMGCAP(1)]Braley has pitched the caucus as an advocate for uniting the party behind an economic agenda for middle-class and working families. Then-Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.) headed a similar group in the 1980s, but it sputtered out in the next decade.

Already, the group’s membership spans the ideological spectrum of the broader House Democratic Caucus. That diversity is reflected in its three vice chairs: Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), a member of both the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.), a Progressive, and Rep. Betty Sutton (Ohio), who isn’t affiliated with any major group.