May 24, 2017 at 8:37 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Rep. Pocan elected co-chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Equality Act, gay news, Washington Blade

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) was elected co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), one of six openly LGB members of the U.S. House, was elected Tuesday as a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Pocan said in a statement he wants to make the 75-member body “the voice of the resistance” against President Trump, accusing his administration of “attacking both the values we hold dear and the programs which provide vital services to people across the country”

“All we need to do is take a look at the devastating cuts proposed in the budget President Trump released today to see the clear distinction between progressives and this Administration and Congress,” Pocan said. “I am proud to help lead the charge in Congress for progressive ideas that lay the foundation for our resistance in this era of Trump. The CPC will fight the fights against bad policies and offer positive alternatives which demonstrate progressives have a pulse on the will of the people and a plan forward.”

The largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus was established in 1991 and seeks to champion the “Progress Promise” in Congress. The four core principles of the promise are 1) fighting for economic justice and security for all; 2) protecting and preserving our civil rights and civil liberties; 3) promoting global peace and security; and 4) advancing environmental protection and energy independence.

Michael Darner, a Congressional Progressive Caucus spokesperson, said Pocan was elected unanimously for a term to serve as co-chair for the remainder of the 115th Congress.

Pocan assumes the co-chair position vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn), who’s now the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee. Prior to his election as co-chair, Pocan had served since 2014 the caucus’ first vice-chair.

“As an outgoing co-chair of the Caucus, I know the dedication and determination it takes to be a leader in the CPC,” Ellison said in a statement. “Congressman Mark Pocan has these qualities in abundance. He has been an active member of the CPC during his two terms in Congress and has been an outstanding first vice-chair of the CPC.”

Continuing to serve as co-chair of the caucus is Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who said in a statement he welcomes the election of Pocan as his fellow co-chair.

“Congressman Pocan’s commitment and leadership is especially crucial during these times,” Grijalva said. “I look forward to working with him to amplify the message and values of our Caucus and standing up for the millions of hard-working Americans we represent.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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