Thursday, February 12, 2009

Braley Forms Populist Caucus

Eastern Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley has formed what he calls the "The Populist Caucus". defines a "populist" like this:

1. a member of the People's party.
2. a supporter or adherent of populism.

Here's how Braley's office defines it in the release:

23 Members of Congress from Across America Join to Establish Populist Caucus

Washington, DC – Today, 23 Democratic members of Congress joined together to form the Populist Caucus, the only caucus in Congress devoted solely to addressing middle class economic issues.

“The middle class is the economic engine of America, but too often in Washington, the needs of the middle class are ignored.” Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Chair of the Populist Caucus, said. “During these tough times, we need a renewed focus on strengthening the middle class and improving the lives of working families. The Populist Caucus will work together to find common ground on policies that create good-paying jobs, make health care more affordable for all, and put middle class families first again.”

The Populist Caucus is made up of members from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences. The caucus aims to bring members of Congress together by rallying around six key middle class economic issues:

Creating Good Jobs and a Secure Retirement: Creating and retaining good-paying jobs in America, providing fair wages, proper benefits, a level playing field at the negotiating table, and ensuring American workers have secure, solvent retirement plans;
Cutting Taxes for the Middle Class: Cutting taxes for the middle class and establishing an equitable tax structure;
Affordable Health care: Providing affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Americans;
Quality, Affordable Education: Ensuring quality primary education for all American children, and affordable college education for all who want it;
Fair Trade: Defending American competitiveness by fighting for fair trade principles;
Protecting Consumers: Protecting consumers, so that Americans can have faith in the safety and effectiveness of the products they purchase.

Founding members include: Reps. Bruce Braley (D-IA), Chair; Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Vice-Chair; Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Vice-Chair; Betty Sutton (D-OH), Vice-Chair; Leonard Boswell (D-IA); Steve Cohen (D-TN); Joe Courtney (D-CT); Keith Ellison (D-MN); Bob Filner (D-CA); Phil Hare (D-IL); Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Hank Johnson (D-GA); Steve Kagen (D-WI); David Loebsack (D-IA); Eric Massa (D-NY); Tom Perriello (D-VA); Linda Sanchez (D-CA); Jan Schakowsky (D-IL); Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH); Louise Slaughter (D-NY); Peter Welch (D-VT); and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

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