Blue Dog Coalition
|Blue Dog Coalition|
|Leadership:||John Barrow, Jim Cooper and Kurt Schrader|
|Established||February 14, 1995|
|Website||Blue Dog Coalition|
The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 and is comprised of 15 fiscally conservative Democrats that "are deeply committed to the financial stability and national security of the United States and dedicated to finding bipartisan solutions to the nation’s biggest challenges."
The mission statement of the Blue Dog Coalition is as follows:
"Members of the Blue Dog Coalition are dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the country, notwithstanding partisan political positions and personal fortune and do hereby agree to organize a Coalition to serve the interests of our country.
- That government has an important and constructive role to play in defining an equal opportunity society built upon principles of individual rights and freedom and dedicated to creating conditions that serve the general welfare and prosperity of the people;
- That the people have entrusted the representatives of our country to transcend politics, personal careers and fortunes in order to pursue the common good;
- That a government too large and intrusive stands in the way of an opportunity society;
- That government must live within its allotted resources;
- That the burden of the American taxpayer should be reduced whenever possible;
- That government agencies are created to serve rather than to restrict, regulate and punish the American people;
- That government should encourage work over idleness, personal independence over government dependence, and a free market which is not controlled, dominated and excessively regulated by the government;
- That the American tax code should be simply structured and designed to create incentives for income earning, saving, and investments in jobs and in expanding opportunities;
- That personal responsibility is essential to the preservation of freedom and that government must strictly hold accountable those who fail to act responsibly and to defend and support those who are victims of criminal and irresponsible behavior;
- That government should be a force that affirms traditional American values and stands against the forces that threaten them; and,
- That government should always be aware that it is a creature of the American public, that it answers to the public for its failures and successes and should never be so arrogant as to use its powers to diminish personal rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution."
The Blue Dog Coalition formally announced their formation on February 14, 1995, in the 104th Congress with 23 members.
Inspired by the canine paintings of Cajun artist George Rodrique, who often painted a blue dog with yellow eyes, the founding members coined the term Blue Dogs after the old adage that many southerners, from the post-Reconstruction era to the late 1900s, would have “sooner voted for a yellow dog than for a Republican.” Many members had also said they felt “choked blue” by the extremes of both parties and therefore the group adopted the term Blue Dog Democrats.
Leadership for the 113th Congress:
- Co-Chair for Administration: Rep. John Barrow
- Co-Chair for Policy & Legislative Strategy: Rep. Jim Cooper
- Co-Chair for Communications & Outreach: Rep. Kurt Schrader
|Blue Dog Coalition Members|
|Rep. John Barrow||Georgia|
|Rep. Sanford Bishop||Georgia|
|Rep. Jim Cooper||Tennessee|
|Rep. Jim Costa||California|
|Rep. Henry Cuellar||Texas|
|Rep. Pete Gallego||Texas|
|Rep. Dan Lipinski||Illinois|
|Rep. Jim Matheson||Utah|
|Rep. Mike McIntyre||North Carolina|
|Rep. Mike Michaud||Maine|
|Rep. Collin Peterson||Minnesota|
|Rep. Loretta Sanchez||California|
|Rep. Kurt Schrader||Oregon|
|Rep. David Scott||Georgia|
|Rep. Mike Thompson||California|
The Blue Dog Coalition lists the following issues:
- Fiscal Responsibility: "The Blue Dog Coalition remains fully committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find a solution that reduces our long-term federal debt and deficits in a balanced, bipartisan fashion and in a way in which we do not stall our nation’s fragile economic recovery. In March 2013, the House of Representatives voted on a number of partisan budget proposals introduced by the Republican majority...In April 2013, the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition formally endorsed a House resolution introduced by Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) urging the Speaker of the House to follow regular order, request a budget conference with the Senate and appoint conferees."
- Economic Opportunity: "Members of the fiscally conservative, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to President Obama on June 13, 2013 to express their strong support for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The letter highlighted the positive economic and national security effects of constructing the pipeline, most notably increased job creation and decreased American dependence on foreign sources of oil."
- Oversight and Regulatory Review: "On January 18, 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563 calling on every federal agency to review their regulations to ensure they “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty,” “take into account benefits and costs,” and “identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.” The Blue Dogs believe that overly burdensome and outdated regulations slow economic growth and impede job creation. That is why members of the Blue Dog Coalition leadership sent letters to the heads of 12 major independent federal agencies requesting that they comply with the executive order and conduct an open and transparent regulatory review."
- Congressional Reform: "Congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low, and with good reason. Partisan finger pointing and institutional brokenness have led to gridlock at a time when the country most needs solutions. The Blue Dog Coalition understands that in order to fix our fiscal problems and grow the economy, we must reach across the aisle and find common ground. We must also reform the current institutional culture that rewards extremism and hinders bipartisan compromise."
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- Blue Dog Coalition, "About," accessed January 9, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Mission Statement," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "History," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Members," accessed January 9, 2014
- National Journal, "The Most Divided Congress Ever, At Least Until Next Year," accessed February 6, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Issues," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Fiscal Responsibility," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Economica Opportunity," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Oversight and Regulatory Review," accessed January 13, 2014
- Blue Dog Coalition, "Congressional Reform," accessed January 13, 2014