This morning, Greg Casar will officially be selected as Whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Casar’s position as Whip, which is the number three spot in the caucus, is significant. He will be the top Texan in a leadership role, and one of the youngest members to serve in a leadership capacity for a caucus with over 100 members.
Casar joins a leadership team that includes Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will remain Chair, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who will be Deputy Chair. Casar, who is a former labor organizer and Austin city council member, can use a lot of his skills to ensure the Congressional Progressive Caucus remains focused on fighting for their priorities.
The Signal spoke with Casar, who ran unopposed, ahead of the announcement. He is humbled about his new role as Whip, but also eager to assume such a “big responsibility.” He’s also very aware at the message it sends to have a Texan in a leadership role. “The stakes couldn’t be higher in Texas: where abortion is banned, where voting rights are being suppressed, and where so many corporations are making billions of dollars off the backs of working people.”
Several Texans are currently in the Congressional Progressive Caucus including, Lloyd Doggett, Veronica Escobar, and Sheila Jackson Lee. Congresswoman-Elect Jasmine Crockett will also join the caucus next year.
Republicans will have a slim majority in the House, but it’s still a majority. Their leadership has indicated they intend to run the House like a carnival, with heavy emphasis on hearings about Hunter Biden, the border, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Casar views these potential stunts as an antithesis to what the Congressional Progressive Caucus is promoting.
“We can block some of the worst rightwing excesses if we act as a unified bloc as the progressive caucus because the Republicans have such a narrow majority,” said Casar. He also noted his intention to work closely with the Biden White House. “We need to draw a sharp contrast between a Democratic White House that’s helping working people and the rightwing Republican circus we’re about to see.”
As Casar accepts his new position with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he’s still acclimating to a new life in Washington. But he’s embracing the new chapter. “Republicans thought they were going to get a red wave election this year, and instead we have more progressives headed to Congress than any other time in modern history; I think it’s our responsibility to organize those progressives to make change.”