Inside Baseball, but Meaningful

The Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives has has adopted new rules and a new structure to make it more like a parliamentary caucus, with a single chairman, and the ability to whip its members.

The changes:

  • Only one chair, down from two co-chairs, which means that someone, currently Prami­la Jaya­pal (D-WA) will be running the caucus.
  • The caucus will requirement members to vote with it ⅔ when the caucus approves of a vote by a ⅔ majority.  (Weak tea, but better than no tea)
  • Members must attend caucus meetings.  (This is more significant than it sounds)
  • Members must respond in a timely manner to any communications from the caucus whip, currently Ilhan Omar (D-MN) 

Additionally, Jaypal has made it clear that if people find this too restricting, she is fine with them leaving the caucus.  (i.e. don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out)

Given the narrow Democratic margin in the next Congress, 10 seats if the members leaving to join the Biden administration are replaced by Democrats, a cohesive Progressive caucus, even if it drops to 50 members or so, can exert real power.

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