March 18th, 2009
05:35 PM ET
14 years ago

'Moderate Dems Working Group' organized in Senate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Bayh is one of the leaders of a new working group of moderate Democrats in the Senate."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A group of 15 Senate Democrats have organized their own working group, the office of Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh announced Wednesday.

"Our group seeks to work collaboratively with the Obama administration and Senate leadership to make sure legislation is crafted in a practical way that will solve people's problems," Bayh said in a statement. "It's going to take all of us working together in the Senate to get the 60 votes necessary to deliver the change the American people deserve."

It's a group with a more conservative bent than the Democratic caucus as a whole. Recently, Bayh and Missouri Sen. McCaskill were critical of earmarks in the $410 billion omnibus spending bill, ultimately voting against it. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, has famously broken with the party on foreign policy and on the presidential campaign.

But Sen. Ben Nelson was able to play a key role in bringing on board just enough Republican support to ensure passage of the $787 billion stimulus bill championed by the White House and Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill.

Bayh will lead the group, along with Delaware Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware and Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln. The remaining dozen members of the new group are: Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Lieberman, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Majority Leader Harry Reid - who sounded a frustrated note earlier this month over Bayh's position on the spending bill - said the new group had his support. "[N]ew ventures like this group offer us a new opportunity to get things done, and I support every effort that puts real solutions above political posturing," Reid said in the statement announcing the group.

Filed under: Democrats • Senate
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Dace Tucson AZ

    Where was this group when bush was out of control and destroyed the country? Are these the new republicans since only white hood wearing religious zealots or rich white drug addicts are allowed in that party now. This is a total back stabbing power grab and they need to be voted out. We voted for progress!

    March 18, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. arithmetic is liberal

    You mean a party exists where the moderates work with the hardliners?

    Heavens to betsy!

    March 18, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. PSKing

    I am willing to listen- I am amazed ANY Senate members agree on ANYTHING. If the purpose of this "working group" is to strengthen this Country- I am on board. I am sick to death of personal agendas and greed. America is more than ready for some dedication and decency. Leaders, leading- what an amazing concept.

    March 18, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Yawn. Look where they are from. There's your answer. I don't know about you, but I think I could see my way to adapting my own ideology to be more like what is required for re-election. More power to 'em...keep that Dem majority rollin.

    March 18, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. J.P.

    Moderate Dems? I'm sorry... that animal went extinct a long time ago. Somewhere around the mid 1960s with Johnson's "Great Society (of disrespectful, unappreciative looters)"

    My grandfather was a proud Democrat and a very good and honorable man. He was a WWII Navy veteran, a survivor of the battle of Leyte Gulf and a very proud patriot. He was proud to be an American and didn't hide that fact. ... and he voted solidly Democrat EVERY TIME he had the opportunity.

    Today, he would be be regarded by "modern Democrats" as a hateful, war-mongering, right-wing crazy. My grandfather died a Democrat. I however didn't leave the Democrat party... the Democrat party left me.

    Hey, "moderate Dems," good luck with that... tell me how that works out for you.

    March 18, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Yay the Republican lite party!

    March 18, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. no corporate politics

    About time – someone needs to pick up some of Obama's broken promises. Obama is not delivering on the bi-partisan promise.

    Now we need an anti-war group to fight his pro-Israel and Afghanistan plans.

    And then a real anti-lobby anti-corporate group.

    Obama – outsourced!

    March 18, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. big papa


    ...good riddance to bad rubbish...

    As for these "moderate" Democrats...

    ...if they act like Bush Republican obstructionists...

    ...we should treat them as such, EVERYDAY, but come election day especially...

    March 18, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. dumbocrat alert

    did you see all the energy being emitted from peosi and reid' ears ???

    March 18, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Thomas Paine

    Do not forget that the voters rejected the failed policies of the Republicans that you defeated.
    As Abraham Lincolnsaid in his Gettysberg address, ours is a government, for the people, by the people, and of the people.
    Not a government for corporations, banks, or Wall Street.

    March 18, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |