Blue Dog members say they still stand by the old centrist mantra of fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, and commonsense solutions to practical problems. But their membership today reflects how much the demographic and geographic profiles of the Democratic Party have changed – and how much the political center has shifted.
Blue Dog Democrats are calling for stronger oversight on coronavirus spending in response to a Government Accountability Office report that found stimulus payments went out to nearly 1.1 million dead people at a cost of $1.4 billion. “Never before in our history has Congress spent so much money so quickly as we have in response to COVID-19. Unprecedented spending, while necessary, creates an unprecedented opportunity for funds to be misused and other forms of mischief,” the members wrote in a letter to congressional leaders in both parties.
On Tuesday, a group of centrist, national-security-minded Democratic lawmakers wrote to leaders of both parties, urging them to put politics aside and come together on the China issue, for the sake of our country. The leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition also have a plan for how that might work. “A lot of members of Congress can agree that China poses a range of threats to the United States," Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), the co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, told me. “Make no mistake, we are in the midst of a great-power competition. In that competition, we have to win. And the way that we win is when we are united as a country. So, we don’t have room for partisanship on these issues.”
Now flush with 26 members — including ten freshmen, nine of whom flipped GOP districts in 2018 — this coalition feels as if it is once again thriving. They look a lot younger and more diverse than the original 23 members, with a geographic focus that is shifting into the suburban districts that were once Republican strongholds. “While the makeup and size of our coalition has changed over the years, our focus on fiscal responsibility and a strong national security has never wavered,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), the current co-chairman of the Blue Dogs, said in a House floor speech last week.
In just her second term, Rep. Stephanie Murphy is suddenly a critical figure in the House as co-chief of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition. Once on the verge of extinction, the Blue Dogs nearly tripled their membership after the 2018 elections and now have 26 members. And Murphy and the Blue Dogs are proving themselves to be a force — challenging leadership and the caucus’ progressive wing with real success.
Who We Are
The Blue Dog Coalition is an official caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives comprised of 18 fiscally-responsible Democrats, who are leading the way to find commonsense solutions. They are pragmatic Democrats, appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to pursuing fiscally-responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country, and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people.
WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach and a former police officer, issued the following statement on the death of Officer Brian Sicknick, a twelve-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, who died on January 7, 2021 due to injuries sustained while serving in the line of duty to defend the U.S.
WASHINGTON—Today, the leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth on the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule in response to H.Res. 8, which was passed by the House of Representatives.
Specifically, the letter was signed by Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01), Ed Case (HI-01), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05).
WASHINGTON—Today, the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition announced its leadership for the 117th Congress. The Coalition has a total of 18 members, representing districts from Maine to Hawaii, who are dedicated to the organization’s longstanding policy focus of fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, and a pragmatic approach to governance.