Monday, March 30, 2009


Roll Call - Liberal House Democrats are stewing that they have yet to get face time with President Barack Obama, despite his whirlwind charm offensive that has ushered every other major faction of the Caucus into the White House for private meetings.

"Members are either taking it as a slight, or that we're irrelevant in the planning process," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. . .

The group's members have proved to be among the most reliable supporters of mainline Democratic priorities, prompting a view among some party leaders that they require less servicing. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (Calif.), the group's other co-chairman, warned the White House against drawing that conclusion. "Maybe they think that they can take us for granted, but they can't," she said.

The administration has yet to schedule a get-together with the group, though White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Obama looks forward to meeting with them "soon."

"The fact that Obama has spent time courting House Republicans, the most legislatively irrelevant group on the Hill, and still hasn't met with Progressives, the center core of his party - it's incredible," said David Sirota, a liberal columnist and former aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who founded the Progressive Caucus in the early 1990s when he served in the House. . .

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