Moderate Dems Working Group

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Formed in March 2009, the Moderate Dems Working Group is made up of 16 U.S. Democratic senators that position themselves as a bridge between the bipartisan Senate leadership and the Administration, to focus on solutions to urgent problems. They will meet before the regular Senate Democratic Caucus lunch every other week.

Leading the group are Senators Evan Bayh(Indiana), Tom Carper (Delaware) and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas). "Moderate" is a term of convenience; all three are honorary chairs of the "progressive" Third Way; Bayh and Carper have headed the "centrist" Democratic Leadership Conference. Lincoln and Carper served in the House of Representatives; Bayh and Carper were state governors. Some of the other members, such as Joe Lieberman, are more conservative. The remaining members are:

Mark Udall (Colorado) Michael Bennet Colorado) Mark Begich (Alaska)
Kay Hagan (North Carolina) Herb Kohl (Wisconsin) Joe Lieberman (Connecticut)
Claire McCaskill (Missouri) Ben Nelson (Nebraska) Bill Nelson (Florida)
Mark Pryor (Arkansas) Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire) Mark R. Warner (Virginia)

Bayh described the goal as collaborating to get 60 votes among the various Democrats of different ideologies. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “If we are going to deliver the change Americans demanded and move our country forward, it will require the courage to get past our political differences and get to work. Established organizations like Third Way and new 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.”