An unofficial count by Inside the Beltway last week revealed 209 caucuses (congressional member organizations) of the U.S. Congress. In other words, there appears to be a caucus for just about every congressman’s primary interest or cause.
Some of our favorites: Out of Iraq Caucus, Victory in Iraq Caucus, Congressional Ski and Snowboard Caucus, Congressional Submarine Caucus, Congressional Zoo and Aquarium Caucus, Silk Road Caucus and of course the sparsely membered Friends of American Media Caucus.
We updated our caucus list upon receiving a letter from Phil Ross of Denver, a “political junkie” Republican who once headed the communications team for the House majority in the Colorado General Assembly.
“It occurred to me the other day that amid all the big and little special caucuses there’s one I have dubbed the ‘ Steve Caucus,’ a four-member collection of middle-age Jewish guys — two veterans and two freshmen, but all liberals — from different parts of the country: Steve Israel of New York, Steve Rothman of New Jersey, Steve Kagen of Wisconsin and Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
“I wonder if these fellas actually ‘caucus’ due to this dual commonality? It also would offer solace to Mr. Cohen, who was snubbed in being able to enter the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) despite representing a majority black district in Memphis.”
Indeed, Mr. Cohen pledged that if elected last November to his 60 percent black district, he would apply to become the first white member of the CBC. As it turned out, he was refused admission on the grounds that whites have never been allowed in the club.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson said he thinks he would have a higher profile in the black community if he were a Democrat instead of a Republican.