Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: United States Congress


* Democratic Member of Congress
* Former agent of Black Panther leader and convicted killer Huey Newton
* Collaborated with the Marxist dictatorship of Grenada to deceive the U.S. Congress
* Voted against using military force against terrorists following the 9/11 attacks
* Has consistently voted against U.S.-led military actions, regardless of circumstances
* Strong supporter of President Obama’s onetime “green jobs czar,” Van Jones
* Admirer of Fidel Castro

Background, & Ties to the Black Panther Party

Born as Barbara Jean Tutt in El Paso, Texas on July 16, 1946, Barbara Lee, in her youth, was a single, teenage mother who relied on food stamps. In 1968 she volunteered for the local Community Learning Center of the Black Panther Party, and then attended Mills College in Oakland, California from 1969-73. In 1973 Lee worked on the Oakland mayoral campaign of Panther co-founder Bobby Seale and served as a confidential aide to the organization’s “minister of defense,” Huey Newton. (Panther members at the time referred to Lee as “Comrade Barbara.”)  After Newton fled to Cuba in the mid-1970s to evade murder, assault, and tax-evasion charges, Lee she twice visited him there. Decades later, in her 2009 book Renegade for Peace & Justice, Lee fondly recalled her affiliation with the Panthers. “Despite his roughness, my mother really liked him,” Lee wrote of Newton. And regarding Seale, she wrote: “When I first met him, he impressed me as being very nice—a leader always willing to give positive feedback to me and the other ‘comrades’ in the party. I was known as ‘Comrade Barbara’ at the time. We were and remain close.”

On October 24, 2021, Lee attended an Oakland ceremony commemorating the 55th anniversary of Huey Newton’s creation of the Black Panther Party, a ceremony where a bust of Newton — a known rapist, drug dealer, cop-killer, and murderer — was formally unveiled and put on public display along with a plaque lauding his achievements. (Notably, Lee in recent years had repeatedly co-sponsored legislation to tear down existing statues of members of the Confederate Army located in the U.S. Capitol, on grounds that they were “symbols of bigotry and racism.”)

Affinity for Fidel Castro & Communist Cuba

After earning a master’s degree in social work from UC Berkeley in 1975, Lee served as a staffer for the openly socialist California congressman Ron Dellums. In 1977 Lee accompanied Dellums on a delegation to Cuba to discuss healthcare issues with Fidel Castro. While still working for Dellums, Lee in 1979 again traveled to Havana, this time to attend a conference of “non-aligned nations”—a Cold War euphemism for countries siding with the Soviet Union. Lee attended the event as a journalist for the alternative San Francisco newspaper, the Sun-Reporter, whose late editor, Carlton Goodlett, had received the Lenin Peace Prize in Moscow in April 1970.

All told, Lee has been to Cuba at least 21 times since the 1970s — including 8 separate occaions when she met personally with Fidel Castro. Some examples:

In October 1998, Lee was one of seventeen members of Congress who sent a letter to Bill Clinton, asking the President to form a bi-partisan commission to review U.S.-Cuba policy.

On another occasion, Lee praised Fidel Castro for having “led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”

After Castro’s death in 2016, Lee issued a statement that said: “My deepest condolences to Fidel Castro’s family and the Cuban people during this time. While there are many disagreements between our countries, President Castro was a recognized world leader who was dedicated to the Cuban people.  It is my hope that we continue to build on President Obama‘s efforts to end the failed embargo, lift the‎ travel ban and normalize relations between our two countries.‎”

Describing Castro as “a smart man” and a “historian,” Lee also said in reaction to the dictator’s death:

  • “We need to stop and pause and mourn his loss.”
  • “I was very sad for the Cuban people.”
  • “He led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”
  • “He wanted normal relations with the United States but not at the expense of the accomplishments of the revolution.”

On January 18, 2024, Lee attended a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, which was discussing the topic of U.S.-Cuba relations. But when Lee, who was not a member of the subcommittee, tried to interrupt the proceedings with a rant calling for the full normalization of relations between the two countries, subcommittee chairwoman Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Florida) threw Lee out of the room. Wrote Salazar in a statement she released shortly after the hearing:

  • “Today, I exercised my authority as Subcommittee Chairwoman to not allow an off-Committee Member to spread communist propaganda during my Cuba hearing. Members are not entitled to join any Committee proceedings without full consent of the Committee Members.”
  • “Barbara Lee tried to disrupt an important discussion about the Biden Administration’s lenient policies toward the Cuban regime. Barbara Lee is a communist sympathizer who was a personal friend to Fidel Castro, has visited Cuba 21 times, and has been a mouthpiece for the Cuban Regime since 1977.”

Lee, for her part, complained in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I was just kicked out of a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Cuba policy because the Republican Chair didn’t like my views. I’d share the livestream, but Republicans cut out the sound when I stood up to defend myself & call them out.”

Supporting the Marxist Regime in Grenada, While Undermining the Reagan Foreign Policy

In 1980 Lee provided counterintelligence support to the Cuban-backed, Marxist-Leninist regime of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in the Caribbean nation of Grenada, alerting the regime to the possible presence of an anti-communist spy in Bishop’s office.

In 1981 Lee asked the World Peace Council (WPC), which was a Soviet front, to purchase air tickets for Ron Dellums and two of his staffers, so they could attend a WPC conference in Europe. Lee once told The Progressive magazine that her life was influenced greatly by the late Carlton Goodlett, a dedicated Stalinist who served as a leader of WPC and used a newspaper that he owned to spread Soviet disinformation and promote KGB forgeries.

In 1982 Lee accompanied Dellums, who headed the House Sub-Committee on Military Installations and was the ranking Democrat member of the House Armed Services Committee, on a “fact-finding” tour of Grenada. Specifically, Dellums was tasked with gauging, for U.S. government leaders, whether an airport that was being constructed by Soviet bloc advisers in conjunction with Cuban military personnel might pose a military threat to the United States. At issue, in particular, was the fact that the airport was equipped with unusually long runways—long enough to accommodate the needs of Soviet military planes.

Following his inspection, Dellums wrote up a report dismissing the airport’s possible military utility. He then secretly sent the report, through Barbara Lee, to Maurice Bishop, so as to give the communist dictator an opportunity to revise it in whatever way he wished before either Congress or President Ronald Reagan saw it. The minutes of a 1982 Grenada Politburo meeting — attended by Bishop and his military command — state: “Barbara Lee is here presently and has brought with her a report on the international airport that was done by Ron Dellums. They have requested that we look at the document and suggest any changes we deem necessary. They will be willing to make the changes.”

In subsequent testimony to Congress, Dellums said: “It is my thought that it is absurd, patronizing and totally unwarranted for the United States Government to charge that this airport poses a military threat to the United States’ national security.”

Notwithstanding the claims of the Dellums report, in March 1983 President Reagan began to issue warnings about the threat posed to the United States by “Soviet-Cuban militarization” of the Caribbean. His suspicions were borne out when, during the U.S. invasion of Grenada in October 1983, American troops seized documents indicating that the airfield was indeed intended for Soviet and Cuban military purposes.

“An Anti-American Communist”

Author and political commentator David Horowitz has called Barbara Lee “an anti-American communist who supports America’s enemies and has actively collaborated with them in their war against America.”

From 1983-85, Lee was an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council, a Soviet front which was dominated by the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

Starting in the early 1990s, Lee served, along with her friend Angela Davis, on the national coordinating committee of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), an organization that splintered from the CPUSA in 1991. The radical activist Leslie Cagan was also a member of the CCDS national coordinating committee at that time.

In 1997 Lee was one of a number of elected officials to attend a Bay Area banquet sponsored by People’s Weekly World (now known as People’s World), the official newspaper of the CPUSA. She also has attended a number of additional PWW banquets over the years — including 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006 — sometimes as a special honoree. On other occasions, Lee has lent her support to the event and its various honorees.

In September 1999, Lee and Rep. Lynn Woolsey were among the co-sponsors of a CPUSA fundraising event in Berkeley.

Onetime Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Nancy Skinner served as a field manager for Lee’s 2002 congressional campaign. That same year, a report by CPUSA political-action-committee chairman Joelle Fishman to the Party’s national board, called on communists to support Lee in her re-election bid.

Member of Congress

When Ron Dellums retired from Congress in 1998, Lee won his vacated congressional seat (in California’s 9th District) and has held it ever since. She is a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC, which she chaired from 2009-11) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives.

Speaking at a “Radical Youth” Event

In April 1998, Lee was a guest speaker at a Berkeley, California event titled “Making Trouble: Building a Radical Youth Movement.” Other speakers included Angela DavisBarbara EhrenreichTom HaydenDolores Huerta, and Cornel West.

The Lone Member of Congress to Oppose Military Force Against 9/11 Perpetrators

On September 14, 2001, Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against anyone associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The resolution passed 98-0 in the Senate, and 420-1 in the House.

Department of Peace

In 2001-02, Lee supported Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s proposal to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace (DOP) in the executive branch of the federal government. Kucinich envisioned the DOP dealing with such disparate matters as weapons reduction, nuclear disarmament, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal rehabilitation, violence against animals, gun violence, gang and school violence, hate crimes, and the establishment of a “peace curriculum” in the schools.

Lawsuit to Block U.S. Withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

In June 2002, Lee joined thirty fellow members of Congress (including such notables as John Conyers, Jesse Jackson Jr., Dennis KucinichCynthia McKinney, and Maxine Waters) in filing a federal lawsuit to block President George W. Bush from withdrawing the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which had been signed in 1972 with the old Soviet Union.

Ties to Radical Leftist Organizations

In 2003, Lee served on the advisory committee of the Progressive Majority.

On July 29, 2004, Lee was a guest speaker at a Massachusetts event moderated by Tim Carpenter, national director of Progressive Democrats for America. Titled “Beyond Boston: Building the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party,” this conference also featured such prominent speakers as Tom Andrews, Medea Benjamin, John ConyersHoward DeanTom HaydenDennis KucinichRev. Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr., and James Zogby.

Lee was a guest speaker at the 2006 and 2007 “Take Back America” conferences organized by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF). In June 2010, she spoke at the same IPS-CAF conference, which by then had been renamed “America’s Future Now.” In 2011 Lee spoke at a “Take Back the American Dream” conference, again hosted  hosted IPS and CAF.

On July 28, 2010, Lee was a guest speaker — along with such notables as Elijah Cummings and Van Jones — at a Youth Leadership Speaker Series event organized by the 21st Century Democrats. The event was sponsored by Representative John Lewis and Senator Tom Harkin.

In November 2010, Lee and 15 other congressional Democrats met—either personally or through their respective staffers—with supporters of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack, a Marxist-Leninist group condemning the “FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas” of people who were doing “international solidarity work” and “anti-war” organizing.

In 2012, Lee served on the host committee for “Leading with Love,” an event celebrating the five-year anniversary of the Marxist-led National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Lee has been a member of the League of Women Voters, and an advisory board member with Progressive Democrats of America.

Lee’s political campaigns have been supported by such organizations as the Council for a Livable World, EMILY’s List, J Street, the National Iranian American CouncilPeace Action, and Planned Parenthood.

Universal Health Care

On September 3, 2003, Lee introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which called for governmental provision of healthcare coverage for all Americans. “The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care,” said Lee. “We must become a health care provider, not a denier of this fundamental right.”

Seeking to Have UN Monitor U.S. Presidential Election

In mid-2004, Lee, distrustful of the integrity of U.S. political elections, was one of thirteen congressional representatives who tried (unsuccessfully) to arrange for the United Nations to monitor the upcoming U.S. presidential election that November.

Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus

In 2005 Lee and forty fellow Democratic members of the House of Representatives established the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus. The Caucus’s nominal co-founders were Lee, John Conyers, William Delahunt, John R. Lewis, Charles Rangel, Jan Schakowsky, Maxine Waters, and Lynn Woolsey.

Ties to Barack Obama

In 2008 Lee served as a Western regional co-chair of Senator Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign. She lauded Obama’s “message of fundamental change” for being “as close to a revolutionary message as we have had in decades.”

A strong supporter of the revolutionary communist Van Jones, Lee — a close friend of both Jones and Barack Obama — played a key role in Jones’s appointment as the Obama administration’s “green jobs czar” in 2009.

Calling for Expansion of Food Stamps

During her years in Congress, Lee has fought to expand food stamp coverage. In April 2008 she introduced legislation to reverse a provision in the 1996 welfare-reform bill that barred ex-convicts from receiving food stamps.

Supporting ACORN

When the House of Representatives voted by a 345-75 margin to defund the notoriously corrupt community organization ACORN in September 2009, Jackson Lee was one of the 75—all Democrats—who voted to continue funding the group.

Policy Toward Israel & Palestinians

On December 22, 2009, Lee was one of 33 U.S. Representatives who wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to press the Israeli government to lift its ban on Palestinian student travel between Gaza and the West Bank.

Five weeks later, Lee was one of 54 members of Congress to sign a letter asking President Barack Obama to push Israel to end its Gaza blockade, which had been enacted to prevent the flow of deadly weapons into that region.

In July 2019, Lee was one of 16 House Democrats who voted against a non-binding resolution that opposed the Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as an unjustifiable campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. The resolution was voted down by a margin of 398-17.

Climate Change

In April 2013, Lee sponsored a bill stating that climate change could lead to drought and reduced agricultural output in much of the world, and that this would be particularly harmful to women. Said the bill: “[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as [engaging in] sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health.”

Support for Fred Ross Sr.

In early 2013, Lee was one of dozens of prominent leftists who urged President Barack Obama to award, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late Fred Ross Sr., a Saul Alinsky-trained radical who had mentored both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.

Scheduled Meeting With Global Terrorist & Al-Qaeda Funder

Lee, along with Representatives Alan Grayson and Jan Schakowsky, was scheduled to meet on November 19, 2013 with Abdul Rahman Naimi, president and founder the Geneva-based human-rights NGO Al Karama, to discuss U.S. drone policy. Ultimately, Naimi was unable to attend the meeting because of visa issues. The following month, the U.S. Treasury Department designated him as a global terrorist and an al Qaeda financier.

Supporting CAIR

Lee has been a vocal supporter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). For example:

  • In September 2014 she said: “For the past twenty years, CAIR has been a staunch defender of the civil rights of American Muslims nationwide.”
  • In October 2017 she said: “For more than twenty-three years, CAIR has been a tireless advocate for civil rights and religious freedom in our diverse nation.”
  • In 2018 she wrote a letter of support to CAIR, on the occasion of the organization’s 24th anniversary.

Islamist Donations

Over the years, Lee has received numerous donations from high-ranking officials and/or board members of Islamist organizations. Specifically, from 2002-2016 she received a total of $4,600 in contributions from individuals affiliated with the American Muslims for Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Signatory of De Blasio’s Progressive Agenda

In 2015, Lee was one of the signers of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.”

Member of the Democratic Party’s Platform Drafting Committee

In 2016, Lee was a member of the Democratic Party’s Platform Drafting Committee, a highly influential position in setting the party’s priorities and agendas.

Boycotting Trump Inauguration

Lee was one of dozens of Congressional Democrats who elected to boycott the January 20, 2017 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Introduction of a Bill to Remove Confederate Statues From the U.S. Capitol

In September 2017, Lee, along with Rep. Bennie Thompson and Senator Cory Booker, introduced a bicameral bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.

The three legislators re-introduced this bill in February 2021. “Symbols of bigotry and racism have no place in our society and certainly should not be enshrined in the U.S. Capitol,” said Lee. “It is past time for Congress to stop glorifying the men who committed treason against the United States in a concerted effort to uphold slavery and white supremacy. The movement to honor Confederate soldiers was a deliberate act to rewrite the history of the United States and humanize acts designed to dehumanize African Americans. These statues are not representative of our values or our democracy. They are symbols of hatred and defiance of federal authority and should not be held in a place of honor in the U.S. Capitol.”

Supporting Planned Parenthood

At an April 2018 press conference on Capitol Hill, Lee spoke in favor of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which, during its most recent fiscal year, had performed more than 321,000 abortions nationwide. “Your work really saves lives,” said the congresswoman.

She The People

In September 2018 in San Francisco, Lee spoke at the inaugural summit of She the People, an organization whose stated mission is to “build power for women of color to lead America to a new political era … governed by love, justice, and belonging.” Among the other speakers were Pramila Jayapal, Linda Sarsour, Dolores Huerta, Alicia Garza, Deb Haaland, and Rashida Tlaib.

Condemning Border Patrol Agents

In November 2018 — after reports that American border patrol agents had fired tear gas at migrants who were pelting them with rocks — Lee called for United Nations inspectors to go the U.S.-Mexico border because “the tear-gassing of women and children at the border is an atrocity” and “a violation of human rights.”

Refusing to Denounce Louis Farrakhan

When the Daily Caller in February 2018 contacted Lee and a number of her fellow Congressional Black Caucus members to ask if they would be willing to publicly denounce the notorious Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan because of his racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, Lee was one of 20 who declined not only to denounce him, but also to issue any comment at all regarding his infamous anti-Semitic, anti-white rhetoric.

Joining Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign

On February 14, 2019, Kamala Harris‘s presidential campaign announced that Lee would be its California co-chair.

Supporting the Green New Deal

In 2019 as well, Lee supported the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a massive, multi-trillion-dollar plan designed to move America’s economy toward socialism — under the banner of environmentalist warnings that the Earth would soon face ecological calamity catastrophe if mankind failed to reduce the carbon emissions associated with industrial activity. In April 2019, Lee tweeted: “@AOC [Ocasio-Cortez] is right, we have an expiration date when it comes to climate change. The @UN’s newest report gives us 12 years to turn things around before environmental catastrophe. We need to take climate change seriously. Now”

Calling for the Re-Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Also in 2019, Lee — along with Reps. Jan Schakowsky and David Price — introduced, in the House of Representatives, a bill calling for the United States to return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal from which President Trump had withdrawn the U.S. in May 2018.

Calling for Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq

In January 2020, shortly after President Trump had ordered the U.S. military to kill Qasem Soleimani — the longtime leader of the terrorist Quds Force division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps — Lee introduced an amendment to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, the latter of which had been cited by the Trump administration as partial legal justification for the attack on Soleimani. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted 236-166 to approve Lee’s amendment.

Demanding That Congress Denounce the “Systemic Racism” of Police Forces

In response to the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man whose death following a physical altercation with a white police officer infamously set off a massive wave of violent riots across the United States, Lee joined 45 fellow House Democrats – including such notables as Ayanna PressleyIlhan Ohmar, Karen Bass, and Jesus Garcia — in calling upon Congress to denounce the event as an emblem of the “systemic racism that has plagued law enforcement agencies throughout our history.”

THRIVE Resolution

On September 11, 2020, Lee was one of several lawmakers who gathered to publicly introduce the far-left THRIVE Agenda — an acronym for Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in Vibrant Economy. Joining Lee in making this introduction were Senators Chuck SchumerEd MarkeyCory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren, and Representatives Deb Haaland, Debbie Dingell, Donald McEachin, Sheila Jackson LeeRaul GrijalvaRosa DeLauro, Brendan Boyle, Ilhan Omar, and Ro Khanna. To view the details of the THRIVE Agenda, click here.

Lee Co-Hosts Forum Featuring Cop-Killers & Former Black Panthers

On May 10, 2021, Lee and two fellow Democratic members of the House of Representatives – Steve Cohen and Bobby Rush – hosted a forum about COINTELPRO, the FBI program that tracked the activities of radical leftist organizations in the 1960s and ’70s. Speakers at the forum heaped praise upon several convicted and incarcerated cop-killers – including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Mutulu Shakur, and H. Rap Brown (a.k.a. Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) – describing them as “political prisoners.” Lee, who had worked closely with the Black Panther Party (BPP) in the 1970s, introduced former Panther leader Ericka Huggins at the forum and described her as a “former colleague and comrade.” Huggins and another forum speaker, BPP co-founder Bobby Seale, had been charged in 1970 with the May 1969 torture and murder of 19-year-old BPP member Alex Rackley, who was suspected of providing information about the BPP to police. Though the charges against Huggins and Seale were eventually dropped after a jury was unable to reach a verdict, a tape recording that was introduced as evidence at their trial proved conclusively that Huggins had indeed been present while Rackley was being tortured. Moreover, in a 1977 retrospective of the case, The Washington Post reported that Huggins had admitted to: (a) boiling water that was subsequently poured onto Rackley as part of the torture, and (b) kicking Rackley and verbally abusing him while he sat tied to a chair.

Participant in Netroots Nation Panel Favoring Decriminalization of Cannabis

On October 7, 2021, Lee participated in a Netroots Nation panel that discussed pending efforts in Congress to repeal the federal prohibition and criminalization of cannabis.

Opponent of the “No to China Committee”

On January 10, 2022, Lee was one of 65 House members — all Democrats — who voted against creating a “Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party” to investigate China and to find ways to thwart that nation’s growing international power.

Arrested at Pro-Abortion Rally

On July 19, 2022, Lee was one of at least 17 House Democrats who were arrested outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, where they were attending an abortion-rights rally to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those arrested included the following:

Opposing a Resolution Condemning Socialism

On February 2, 2023, House Republicans moved a resolution titled “Denouncing the Horrors of Socialism,” which read as follows: 

Whereas socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships;

Whereas socialism has repeatedly led to famine and mass murders, and the killing of over 100,000,000 people worldwide;

Whereas many of the greatest crimes in history were committed by socialist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolás Maduro;

Whereas tens of millions died in the Bolshevik Revolution, at least 10,000,000 people were sent to the gulags in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and millions more starved in the Terror-Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine;

Whereas between 15,000,000 and 55,000,000 people starved to death in the wake of famine and devastation caused by the Great Leap Forward in China;

Whereas the socialist experiment in Cambodia led to the killing fields in which over a million people were gruesomely murdered;

Whereas up to 3,500,000 people have starved in North Korea, dividing a land of freedom from a land of destitution;

Whereas the Castro regime in Cuba expropriated the land of Cuban farmers and the businesses of Cuban entrepreneurs, stealing their possessions and their livelihoods, and exiling millions with nothing but the clothes on their backs;

Whereas the implementation of socialism in Venezuela has turned a once-prosperous nation into a failed State with the world’s highest rate of inflation;

Whereas the author of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.”;

Whereas the “Father of the Constitution”, President James Madison, wrote that it “is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest”; and

Whereas the United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.

Lee was one of 86 Democrats who voted Nay.

Lee Announces Campaign for U.S. Senate

On February 21, 2023, Lee announced the launch of her campaign for U.S. Senate in California, where she hoped to win the seat of the longtime incumbent Dianne Feinstein, who was slated to retire soon. “Today I am proud to announce my candidacy for U.S. Senate,” Lee wrote in a tweet. “I’ve never backed down from doing what’s right. And I never will. Californians deserve a strong, progressive leader who has delivered real change.” In a video message, she added: “We have to ease the burden on the middle class. We have to find a solution to poverty and homelessness. We have to take on the climate crisis. And we have to stop these MAGA extremists who think they can control people’s bodies and dismantle our democracy.”

Lee’s Senate Campaign Platform: The Key Issues

Below are excerpts from Lee’s Senate campaign website, articulating her views on a variety of key issues:

(1) Climate Action

  • Growing up next to a lead and copper smelter plant in El Paso — an immigrant community on the southern border — I witnessed the devastating effects pollution and environmentally dangerous practices have on working families and communities of color.
  • Whether toxic air quality of the smelter, worsening floods, debilitating droughts, or widespread wildfires, I know the dire effects of climate change are already here, with those communities bearing the brunt of its impact.
  • I want a healthy, safe future for all our children and grandchildren — and I’m fighting to invest in bold policies that address the climate emergency head on, especially in communities that have experienced generations of environmental injustice.
  • Environmental Justice For All: I’m an original co-sponsor of the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act, to tackle the climate crisis head-on and put impacted communities at the center.
  • A Green New Deal: I am an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, which can kickstart a clean energy revolution and generate millions of high-wage jobs, and a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal For Cities Act, which would provide $1 trillion in federal funding for state and local governments to respond to the climate crisis.
  • Holding Fossil Fuel Corporations Accountable: I have fought to hold fossil fuel corporations who knowingly destroy our planet for short-term profits accountable by supporting legislation to ban offshore drilling, raising taxes on corporate polluters’ fossil fuel income and wealth, and ending new federal fossil fuel infrastructure permits. I will bring this fight to the Senate — to end fossil fuels, declare a climate emergency, and save our planet.

(2) Health Care for All

  • As a trained psychiatric social worker and founder of a community mental health center, I saw first-hand the negative impact public policies and social determinants can have on one’s health and mental health, and the outsized disparities in health and mental health access for people of color. I knew then what I know now: that healthcare — medical, mental, and reproductive — is a human right.
  • And let me be clear. The way to guarantee health care for everyone in a way that is affordable for the nation is a single payer system…. There is a cure — a popular one that guarantees healthcare to every person as a human right and puts people over profits. That cure is Medicare for All — everyone in, nobody out.
  • I am a longtime advocate for single-payer healthcare, before it was popular — co-sponsoring every piece of Medicare for All legislation since 2003, and before that, co-authoring one of California’s first single-payer healthcare bills in the State Legislature.
  • Equitable Healthcare: To reduce health disparities for communities of color, I led the charge on the Health Equity and Accountability Act, and was the only candidate who worked on the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act. I will fight for women’s healthcare, increasing access to the full range of reproductive health care and enacting a federal right to abortion care…. I will work to expand diversity in the healthcare workforce, implementing federally-funded pathways for students from historically underserved communities to become doctors and health care professionals, ensuring equity in opportunity and necessary perspective in shaping the practice of healthcare.

(3) Global Peace & Security

  • In 2001, I cast the sole vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that launched the global war on terror in the aftermath of the devastating 9/11 attack.
  • I am the only candidate running for Senate in California who voted against the USA PATRIOT Act, standing up for Americans’ civil liberties and right to privacy, and who leads legislation to end the Central Intelligence Agency’s long-running drone strike program.
  • Slashing The Bloated Defense Budget: Year after year, I always vote to slash the bloated Pentagon budget. I introduced the People Over Pentagon Act, which would redirect money from the Defense budget to healthcare, child care, education and student debt relief, clean energy, and other priorities. We cannot allow the corporate defense contractors and weapons manufacturers who benefit from this excess budget to continue to line their pockets at the expense of working families.

(4) Reproductive Freedom

  • Let’s be clear: abortion is healthcare, and it should be a constitutional right. This issue is personal for me: as a teenager, before Roe v. Wade, I traveled to Mexico to receive an abortion, because the procedure was still illegal in the United States – like it is in so many states again today. It’s one of the reasons I’ve made reproductive healthcare such a central pillar of my work, leading efforts from the California State Legislature, authoring California’s first Violence Against Women Act and passing a law to increase penalties for illegally blocking abortion clinic access, — and I will be a fierce champion of reproductive freedom representing California in the Senate.
  • Codifying Roe v Wade: We need to end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.
  • Repealing The Hyde Amendment: I wrote the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Care (EACH) Act to put an end to the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.  I have also fought for years to repeal Hyde and ensure that everyone has access to abortion coverage and services–regardless of income, insurance or zip code.
  • Fighting State Attacks On Abortion: I am an original co-sponsor and vocal advocate for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would protect the right to access abortion nationwide and safeguard reproductive rights against a barrage of state-based attacks.
  • Leading The Pro-Choice Caucus: I am the co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, which works to preserve, protect, and advance policies that ensure reproductive autonomy for all, leading efforts including calling on President Biden to declare a public health and national emergency around abortion.

(5) Economic Justice

  • I have led the Congressional fight to expand affordable housing, childcare, and SNAP benefits. In the Senate, I will continue to drive the fight for resources and assistance that allow working families to thrive, not just survive.
  • Making Corporations and 1% Pay Their Fair Share: I authored the OLIGARCH Act to ensure that corporations and the 1% pay their fair share, while closing our country’s wealth gap, combating tax evasion, and holding billionaires accountable…. I partnered with Senator Bernie Sanders to lead the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, which would tax companies with CEO pay over 50 times more than the lowest-paid employee, creating revenue that can instead be invested in communities.
  • Fight for Living Wages: I support wages that lift people out of poverty, not keep them in it. I was on the frontlines of the Fight For $15 when the rest of the government said it was too much, too fast — and now, I support legislation that would increase the national minimum wage beyond that.
  • Reprioritizing Federal Dollars: I fought to slash the bloated Defense budget and reinvest the savings into what our communities really need — my People Over Pentagon Act would put those savings into priorities like healthcare, child care, and affordable housing.

(6) Education

  • I have been a fearless advocate for public education, and I will be a Senator who fights for education for all, championing policies and prioritizing funding to make transformative investments in our students, teachers, and schools. We need to make our public colleges tuition-free; eliminate debilitating student debt; and take action against the school privatization movement.
  • Funding Public Education: I have secured funding in Head Start, Pell grants, community colleges and after-school programs, so every child has an opportunity to go school and get the education they need to succeed — critical spending I will continue to fight for in the Senate.
  • Saving Our Public Schools: I oppose the privatization of schools, speaking out against Republican efforts to take money from public schools and putting it into private schools. This hurts our children and I will continue to fight them every step of the way.
  • Eliminating Tuition & Student Debt: I am an original cosponsor of The College For All Act, groundbreaking legislation to make public colleges free and eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt for 45 million Americans.

(7) Affordable Housing & Homelessness

  • I believe it’s high time we make housing a human right. I have been a voice for renters, working people, and unhoused people in the House — and I will be their strong advocate in the Senate. I will continue to push for a comprehensive policy that guarantees dignified, affordable housing for all.
  • Investing In Affordable Housing: I authored the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act in partnership with Bernie Sanders — legislation that has helped families across the country find affordable housing. In the Senate, I will work to invest more than $1 trillion in the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build millions of affordable units in both urban and rural areas, offer assistance for first-time home buyers, and provide rent relief for lower-income renters.
  • Supporting Renters: I wrote the Renters’ Bill of Rights, which advocates to pass a national cap on annual rent increases and support efforts to pass stronger rent control standards. I also introduced the DEPOSIT Act to support working people with security deposits and other essential moving costs, which can be a prohibitive barrier for individuals and families otherwise ready to move into a stable home.
  • An All-Sides Homelessness Approach: To aid local governments in their efforts to end homelessness, I will prioritize passing The Housing for All Act, investing $500 billion in federal rental assistance, housing vouchers, HUD grants, and affordable housing.
  • I will fight to pass the Ending Homelessness Act of 2023, which will make the Housing Choice Voucher program a federal entitlement, end renter discrimination, invest in outreach and case management, and put $10 billion into permanent affordable housing.

Supporting a “Reparations Now” Resolution to Compensate Blacks for Slavery & Jim Crow

On May 17, 2023, Rep. Cori Bush joined with fellow House Members Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, and Summer Lee in unveiling a “Reparations Now” resolution seeking $14 trillion from Congress to compensate present-day black Americans for the allegedly enduring historical effects that slavery and the Jim Crow era had set in motion. Expressing her support for the measure, Lee tweeted that same day: “Reparations is not just about repairing the damage. Reparations means equity. Reparations means justice. Reparations means dismantling the systems that have kept us marginalized.”

Lee Calls for “Cease-fire” Amid Israel’s Military Response to Deadly Hamas Terror Attack

At daybreak on October 7, 2023 — which was the major Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah — the Islamic terror group Hamas carried out a massive, multi-front, surprise attack against Israel, firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into the Jewish state, while dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the Israeli border in a number of locations by air, land and sea. The attack had been planned in conjunction with officers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, along with agents of three other Iran-sponsored terrorist groups. “In an assault of startling breadth,” reported CBS News, “Hamas gunmen rolled into as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and other communities as far as 15 miles from the Gaza border. In some places they gunned down civilians and soldiers as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response.” By October 8, at least 600 Israelis had been killed and 1,800 wounded, making it the deadliest day Israel had seen in decades. Moreover, Hamas took hundreds of Israelis hostage, including dozens who were American citizens, and moved them to the Gaza Strip. The terrorists also paraded Israelis’ mutilated bodies in Gaza, to cheering crowds of Palestinians. By October 19, the official casualty toll in Israel had reached more than 1,400 dead (including at least 32 American) and 4,500 injured.

On November 3, 2023, Lee told CNN’s The Source: “I have called for a ceasefire, and this should not be mistaken for the lack of support for, and protection and safety for Israelis and Palestinians. And I’m calling for the end of all hostilities, and this means also Hamas, it means Islamic Jihad, it means Hezbollah, all of the hostilities [need] to cease, because a couple of things are happening: First of all, we see, now, probably over 9,000 [Palestinian] civilians that have been killed, 3,500 children. The cessation of violence and hostilities is crucial to the release of hostages, it’s crucial to making sure that a regional war does not erupt. We know that that’s on the brink, we’re on the brink. So, we’ve got to have a ceasefire and have a ceasefire immediately.”

Participant in Town Hall Held by “Our Revolution”

On October 17, 2023, Lee participated in a “Beyond Fossil Fuel Town Hall” held by Our Revolution, an organization loyal to the politics of Bernie Sanders.

Characterizing America as a Nation of “Systemic Racism”

In a January 18, 2024 interview on CNN, host Kaitlan Collins played, for Lee, a video segment where Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley had recently said: “I refuse to believe that the premise of when they formed our country was based on the fact that it was a racist country to start with. I refuse to believe that. I have to know in my heart and in everybody’s heart that we live in the best country in the world and we are a work in progress and we’ve got a long way to go to fix all of our little kinks.” Collins then asked Lee: “Did you agree or disagree with how she [Haley] characterized that?” Lee replied:

“Well, these are not little kinks, first of all. Racism, institutional racism, is in the DNA of this country. When you look at what has taken place, look at our Native Americans, the genocide of Native Americans. When you look at what has taken place as it relates to African Americans, 250 years plus of enslaving African Americans, and then you look at the disparities now in our community in terms of health care, unemployment, the wealth gap, housing. You can’t tell me that systemic racism does not exist. It’s not just a little kink.

“Secondly you have personal racism which is hard to address, but I’ll give you one little story that shows you why we need to understand that I don’t think she [Haley] really understands racism. I was walking from the House building on Capitol Hill to the Capitol and a man, a white guy, stopped me and told me I could not get into the members’ elevator and, you know, we have pins [with name tags] and I was going to vote. And he blocked me from getting into the elevator and told me I was not a member of Congress and it was for members only. I said, ‘Sir, I’m a member of Congress.’ And I showed him my pin, and he said, ‘Whose pen did you steal?’

“Now, this is an example of what personal racism is, and how people of color constantly have to deal with this each and every day. But systemic racism is in the policies of this country. And just look at what they’re trying to do in terms of eliminating diversity, equity, and inclusion. They’re trying to not allow for an equal and level playing field. And so, it’s a very dangerous position that she [Haley] has. She’s clueless.”

Collins, in turn, replied: “Well, that’s a shame. And I’m sorry that you had to deal with that, Congresswoman. Thank you for sharing that with us.” (To view a video clip of the exchange between Collins and Lee, click here.)

Lee Calls for $50-Per-Hour Minimum Wage

At the National Union of Healthcare Workers’ annual leadership conference which was held in Los Angeles on October 8, 2023, Lee participated in a candidate forum along with two political rivals — Katie Porter and Adam Schiff — who were likewise seeking to win the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who had died on September 23, 2023. When asked to provide “a specific number [dollar amount] for what you’d like to see the federal minimum wage at,” Lee replied:

“$17 to $20 [which some others had proposed] should be the floor, per hour. That’s unacceptable anywhere in the United States of America, especially here in California. Not just raising the minimum wage, we have to get to a living wage. And you know what? Here, even $25 an hour is bare minimum. We have to — if we’re going to only stop at $25, $30 an hour, then we have to have the federal government make sure that they are resources for affordable housing, making sure that we expand the Section 8 program, make sure we have deposit assistance for those who can’t afford the $10,000, $12,000 in deposits for rent. The federal government has a responsibility to enhance the quality of life for people who can barely make it, working two and three jobs, commuting two and three hours a day, not enough money for childcare. So the federal government, I believe, is — is the — is a government that has to provide for people who can’t make it in this country and in this state.”

An acceptable minimum wage, Lee added, would be “$50 an hour.”

Lee doubled down on that position during a February 12, 2024 debate between herself and several other Senate candidates in California. One of the debate moderators asked Lee: “You’re calling for a $50-dollar-an-hour federal minimum wage. That’s seven times the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Can you explain how that would be economically sustainable for small businesses?” Lee answered:

“First let me say, I owned and ran a small business for 11 years. I created hundreds of jobs. Benefits, retirement benefits, also health care benefits. I know what worker productivity means, and that means that you have to make sure that your employees are taken care of and have a living wage. In the Bay Area, I believe it was the United Way [that] came out with a report that, very recently, $127,000 for a family of four is just barely enough to get by. Another survey very recently, $104,000 for a family of one, barely enough to get by, low income because of the affordability crisis. And so, just do the math. Just do the math. Of course, we have national minimum wages that we need to raise to a living wage. You’re talking about $20, $25 — fine. But I have got to be focused on what California needs, and what the affordability factor is when we calculate this wage.”

Voting Record

For an overview of Lee’s voting record on a number of key issues, click here.

Additional Information

One of Lee’s staunchest supporters has been Barbara Lubin, founder of the Middle East Children’s Alliance.

For additional information on Barbara Lee, click here.


  1. Mark Hemingway wrote in National Review that same month: “Lee’s fondness for the brutal dictator probably stems from the fact that he helped her good friend, Black Panther leader Huey Newton. Accused of killing an underage prostitute, assault, and tax evasion, Newton went to Cuba for three years in the mid-1970s rather than stand trial.” (Lee was also a close friend of Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale.)

Additional Resources:

Comrade Barbara
By Mark Hemingway
April 17, 2009

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