Originally Published in The Washington Examiner

By Nicole Russell


The Democratic Party’s biggest voting bloc, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has appointed IIhan Omar, the far-left Democrat from Minnesota who took Keith Ellison’s spot, to a leadership role. This is a rather unprecedented move even for Democrats, and this willingness to elect not only freshmen politicians to larger roles, but extremely progressive members of Congress, may be a canary in the coal mine demonstrating what Democrats want to try to do (or prevent) the next two years.

The Star Tribune reports that electing Omar to a leadership position in this caucus is “altering the dynamics of Congress” because the Congressional Progressive Caucus is so large, with nearly 95 members.

“Top Democratic leaders have proactively sought conversations with Ilhan Omar and some other progressive stars to make sure that their views are firmly at the table,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which endorsed Omar.

Omar’s goals are as progressive as her predecessor, Keith Ellison’s — a man she described as “like a big brother to me.” She wants the government to implement infrastructure packages such as “funding roads, bridges, and broadband Internet — and a measure that would institute publicly funded political campaigns and automatic voter registration” and “also advocating for a proposed constitutional amendment to undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that allows corporations and labor unions the right to spend unlimited money in political campaigns.”

“The progressive caucus is a stronger organization than ever before, and so [Omar] is going into an organization which is in a better position to set policy than ever before,” Ellison told the Star Tribune. The Progressive Caucus has been around a long time, since before the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Then-Rep. Bernie Sanders and other Democrats started it in 1991.

But even a recent Vox piece admitted “While the caucus has remained a symbolic voice of the Left in the House, it’s struggled to drive policy.” Time will tell if the Congressional Progressive Caucus accomplishes what it wants to — even with a far-left newbie in a leadership role.