Press Release

Powerful "Blue Dog Coalition" Names Cuellar as Newest Member

Fiscally Conservative Blue Dogs Viewed As Influential Moderate Voice in Washington

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Washington, January 8, 2009 | Thomas Seay (202-225-1640) | comments
Congressman Henry Cuellar has been named to the powerful Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats that is widely considered the most influential moderate voice on Capitol Hill.
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Congressman Henry Cuellar has been named to the powerful Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats that is widely considered the most influential moderate voice on Capitol Hill.

The Coalition voted to add Congressman Cuellar to their 51-member roster for the 111th Congress.  He is currently the only Texan to serve in the Blue Dogs.

“To my mind, the Blue Dogs are the taxpayers’ voice in Congress,” Congressman Cuellar said.  “Texans entrust Washington with tens of billions of their tax dollars each year, and the Blue Dogs’ sole purpose is to ensure that Washington lives up to that trust.  They have a long record of cutting wasteful spending and opposing runaway deficits, and I am tremendously honored to join their coalition.”

Congressman Charlie Melancon (Louisiana Third District), co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, said, “Texas taxpayers have no greater friend in Washington than Henry Cuellar.  The Blue Dogs are pleased and honored to count him as our newest member.”

The Blue Dog Coalition was founded in the 1994 as a policy-oriented group devoted to reining in wasteful spending and promoting fiscal accountability.  The "Blue Dog" moniker was embraced by Coalition members because their moderate-to-conservative views had been, in the words of one founding member, "choked blue" by out-of-control fiscal policies.

By voting as a unified bloc against reckless spending, the Blue Dogs have gained enormous leverage in the federal appropriations process.  Their voice was critical to the U.S. House’s decision in early 2007 to implement “pay as you go” budget rules, which prohibited Congress from increasing the federal budget deficit except during a national emergency.

The Blue Dogs’ priorities in the new Congress include giving “pay as you go” rules the full force of law, as well as ensuring that the upcoming economic stimulus package is both carefully targeted and fiscally responsible.

Congressman Cuellar added, “As Congress acts to deal with today’s financial crisis in the short term, we can’t afford to lose sight of the long term.  America’s national debt is simply unsustainable.  It’s hurting middle-class families, and it’s undermining our economy.”

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