Socialists in the U.S. Congress

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

A list of seventy alleged American Socialist Party members has been winging its way around the internet.

Unfortunately, while most of those listed are indeed socialists, there is no such organization as the American Socialist Party. There is a small Socialist Party USA and the U.S.’s largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America – which works largely inside the Democratic Party.

The list actually appears to be a membership roster of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

This organization was formed in 1991 by openly socialist independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, the far left Institute for Policy Studies and Democratic Socialists of America.

Because the Progressive Caucus was hosted for many years on the D.S.A. website, some have claimed that all Progressive Caucus membership and D.S.A. membership are synonymous. That may possibly have been the case in the early years, but I have seen no evidence that it still applies.

What is beyond doubt is that most Progressive Caucus members are indeed socialists. In a European country, most would be comfortable in either the Socialist, Communist or green parties.

Several current or former Progressive Caucus members appear to have been members of D.S.A. including Neil Abercrombie, Danny K. Davis, Ron Dellums, Jerry Nadler and Major Owens.

Some members like Barbara Lee and Luis Gutierrez have been involved in Marxist-Leninist parties.

Many others have ties to D.S.A., the Communist Party USA, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, the Institute for Policy Studies or other far left groups.

Many also have maintained ties to Cuba, Venezuela, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or other anti-U.S. regimes.

Prominent recent former members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Obama’s Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Obama Transition Team member and former Democratic Party whip, David Bonior. Since leaving the house, David Bonior has formally joined D.S.A.

At more than 70 members, the Progressive Caucus is the most powerful bloc in the U.S. Congress, leading several powerful committees, including Judiciary (John Conyers) and until recently, Ways & Means (Charles Rangel).

It is also important to note that many far left Senators and Congressmen are NOT members of the Progressive Caucus – Senator Tom Harkin from Iowa and Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy (one time D.S.A. member) from Ohio being good examples.

If you follow the links on this page it will lead you to biographies of all those listed on this post, from our sister site KeyWiki – our online encyclopedia of the American left. The KeyWiki Congressional Progressive Caucus page also lists former members of the organization.

Many profiles are still only “stubs,” but some are comprehensive. We welcome contributions from readers to “flesh them out.” We also welcome more volunteer KeyWiki editors and contributors. Contact details here.

Check out the socialists in your Congress!

The current members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are as follows:


Vice Chairs

Senate Members

House Members

Every effort should be made to vote out as many as possible CPCers in the November mid-term elections.

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