U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., representing the 17th Congressional District which includes much of Silicon Valley, was named by The Nation as the "Most Valuable House Newcomer."
In making the selections of the 2017 Progressive Honor Roll, The Nation prefaced its report by saying, "Resistance was the watchword for 2017. Resistance not just to Donald Trump, but to a status quo that gave our most powerful bully pulpit to an actual bully. Progressives not only refused to go backward in 2017; they demanded a new conversation that challenged old orthodoxies."
Of Congressman Khanna, The Nation wrote, "Capitol Hill’s steadiest champion of congressional oversight on war-making, Representative Barbara Lee always needs allies. She got a great one when Khanna arrived in January."
The Indian American congressman was sworn into office in early January after defeating longtime incumbent Mike Honda, another Democrat, in the November 2016 election.
"Lee’s fellow California Democrat jumped into a leadership post with the Congressional Progressive Caucus (as did two other outstanding newcomers, Washington’s Pramila Jayapal and Maryland’s Jamie Raskin) and emerged as a savvy champion of net neutrality," The Nation added of Khanna.
"But the law-school instructor made his boldest mark as an advocate for the restoration of constitutional checks and balances," it said. "Khanna decried the use of tax dollars to 'bomb and starve civilians' in Yemen and — working with CPC co-chair Mark Pocan and libertarian-leaning Republicans — drafted legislation to block U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal assault on that country."
Additionally, last month, Khanna and his allies forced a debate on the issue, getting the chamber to vote 366-30 for a nonbinding resolution stating that U.S. military assistance for the Saudi war was not authorized by Congress, it said.
"That was a small step. But with support growing for Lee’s effort to overturn the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which has served as an excuse for military adventurism, Khanna says the Yemen vote signals that the project of 're-orienting our foreign policy away from our Saudi alliance and away from neocon/neoliberal interventionism' is finally beginning," The Nation wrote.
In addition to Khanna being named to the honor roll, The Nation's 2017 list included U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as Most Valuable Senator; most valuable reading of the constitution was U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as the most valuable Senate watchdog; U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., as the most valuable House progressive; and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., as the most valuable House speech, among many others with progressive values.