Beyond Pelosi–Waters, Lee and Woolsey

Poor Nancy Pelosi, her first few days as Speaker are beginning to sound like a bad remake of Commander-In-Chief. No matter what she says, does or looks like, she’s got 360 degrees worth of critics.
But it is seriously discouraging when the first things we hear from her are that gay rights and impeachment are not part of her agenda. Sounds a tad like business as usual in Washington.

As Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) points out in an interview in The Nation,

“They didn’t elect us to wait for James Baker to report. They said they trust Democrats to get us out of Iraq. And they didn’t elect Democrats to simply be partners with President Bush – rather, the public told us to correct, challenge and confront the President. I believe in nothing but boldness from this point on.”

Woolsey and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will be Co-Chairing the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in Congress with over 60 members and with a significantly higher proportion of women and people of color than the overall demographic makeup of Congress.

The Caucus will be presenting a Peace and Security Budget this spring and continues to focus on the reduction of poverty. Along with the Out of Iraq Caucus, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), they are working to assure that ending the Iraq war stays front and center on the agenda.

In Barbara Lee’s words,

“Our country was on the brink,” Lee says. “Domestic surveillance, torture, suspension of the Geneva Conventions. Our fundamental notion of democracy was at risk. Now we’ve got to take our country back. We were close to losing it, now we have to restore our democracy.”

These are the Congresswomen to watch.


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