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Debbie Dingell Is Starting a Heartland Caucus

In Congress, a caucus is a group of like-minded legislators who get together from time to time to discuss matters of common interest and plot legislative strategies. At present there are 462 congressional caucuses. That's more than there are members in the House. Of course, a member can join many caucuses and most do.

Some of them are really well known, like the House Freedom Caucus. But how many of these do you recognize?

If you want to know the leaders of each one, here is a list. Did you know that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who is famous for being in the Freedom Caucus, is also in the Algae Caucus? Fair enough, he certainly qualifies as pond scum. Or that Jim Jordan is co-chair of the Campus Free Speech Caucus? That's so he can complain that conservatives can't give far-right, fire-breathing addresses on campus without being booed. You probably know that Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) co-chair the Second Amendment Caucus.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) thinks there aren't enough caucuses, so she has just unveiled plans for a new caucus: the Heartland Caucus. She made a map of the country and put stars in all the states where a Democrat has a leadership position of some kind. It turns out that they are largely in the Northeast, one in South Carolina, and a few in the Pacific Northwest. None are in the middle of the country. She thinks this has to change. So she is starting the Heartland Caucus to allow legislators from the Great Lakes region and adjacent states to have a place to get together and talk about issues that affect, well, the heartland. She also wants to remind the Party leaders that they are not "flyover country."

Dingell expects about 40 House members to join. Top issues will be manufacturing, labor, rural health care, infrastructure and the environment. She noted that all roads to a House majority go through the heartland and it needs to be represented better. The Party leadership is receptive to Dingell's plans. (V)

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