|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Diane Watson|
|Constituency||33rd district (2011–2013)|
37th district (2013–present)
|67th Speaker of the California State Assembly|
May 13, 2008 – March 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Fabian Núñez|
|Succeeded by||John Pérez|
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 47th district
December 6, 2004 – December 6, 2010
|Preceded by||Herb Wesson|
|Succeeded by||Holly Mitchell|
Karen Ruth Bass
October 3, 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1980; div. 1986)
|Education||California State University, Dominguez Hills (BS)|
University of Southern California (MSW)
Karen Ruth Bass (//; born October 3, 1953) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 37th congressional district since 2011. The district, numbered as the 33rd district for her first term, covers several areas south and west of downtown Los Angeles. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served for six years in the California State Assembly, the last two as Speaker.
On November 28, 2018, Bass was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) during the 116th Congress. She also serves as Chair of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Before her election to Congress, Bass represented the 47th district in the California State Assembly (2004–2010). In 2008, she was elected to serve as the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly, becoming the first African American woman in United States history to serve as a Speaker of a state legislative body. She won the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010 for her leadership during the Great Recession.
Early life and education
Bass was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Wilhelmina (née Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass. Her father was a postal letter carrier and her mother was a homemaker. She was raised in the Venice and Fairfax neighborhoods of Los Angeles and graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School in 1971.
Witnessing the civil rights movement on television with her father as a child sparked her interest in community activism. While in middle school, Bass began volunteering for Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign. In the mid-1970's she was an organizer for the Venceremos Brigade, a pro-Cuban group that organized trips by Americans to Cuba. She visited Cuba eight times in the 1970s.
She went on to study philosophy at San Diego State University, and graduated from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. She then earned a bachelor of science degree in health sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She also received her master's in social work from the University of Southern California.
Community Coalition and the crack cocaine epidemic
In the 1980s, while working as a physician assistant and a clinical instructor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Physician Assistant Program, Bass witnessed the impact of the crack epidemic in South Los Angeles. After attending "Crack: The Death of a Race", a San Francisco conference hosted by Cecil Williams, she decided to organize a response.
In the late 1980s, Bass and other local community organizers founded Community Coalition, an organization with a mission to help transform the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles that foster addiction, crime, violence, and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing, and changing public policy.
In 2004, Bass was elected to represent California's 47th Assembly district. At her inauguration, she became the only African-American woman serving in the state legislature. She was reelected in 2006 and 2008 before her term limit expired. Bass served the cities and communities of Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.
Leadership prior to speaker election
Speaker Fabian Núñez appointed Bass California State Assembly majority whip for the 2005–06 legislative session and majority floor leader for the 2007–08 legislative session. During her first term, she founded and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, implementing a host of new laws to help improve the state's foster care system and leading the effort to secure $82 million in additional funding for the state's child welfare system. Under her direction, the Select Committee passed legislation designed to improve the lives of California's most vulnerable children.
During her term as majority whip, Bass also served as vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. As vice chair, she commissioned the first ever "State of Black California" report, which included a statewide organizing effort to involve Black Californians in town halls in every part of the state with a prevalent Black community to solicit ideas for a legislative agenda. The result of the report was a legislative agenda for the Black community that was released during her term as majority floor leader.
Núñez termed out of the Assembly at the end of the 2007-08 session, leaving Bass as the next-highest-ranking Democrat in the Assembly. After consolidating the support of a majority of legislators, including some who had previously been planning to run for the speakership themselves, Bass was elected speaker on February 28, 2008, and sworn in on May 13, 2008.
As speaker, Bass promoted numerous laws to improve the state's child welfare system. During her first year, she ushered through expansion of Healthy Families Insurance Coverage to prevent children from going without health insurance and worked to eliminate bureaucratic impediments to the certification of small businesses. She also secured more than $2.3 million to help revitalize the historic Vision Theater in Los Angeles and more than $600 million for Los Angeles Unified School District. Bass worked with the governor and initiated the California Commission on the 21st-Century Economy to reform California's tax code. She also fought to repeal the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
California budget crisis (2008–2010)
Bass became speaker during a period of severe economic turmoil. Negotiations over a spending plan to address a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall began the day Bass was sworn in. A statement by the John F. Kennedy Foundation included the following description of events:
In February 2009, amid one of the worst budget crises in California's history, an imploding economy, and potentially catastrophic partisan deadlock, the state's Republican and Democratic party leaders came together to address the financial emergency. After weeks of grueling negotiation, the legislative leaders and Gov. Schwarzenegger reached an agreement on a comprehensive deal to close most of a $42 billion shortfall, putting an end to years of government inaction and sidestepping of the difficult decisions necessary to address California's increasingly dire fiscal crisis. The deal was objectionable to almost everyone; it contained tax increases, which the Republicans had long pledged to oppose, and draconian spending cuts, which brought intense criticism to the Democrats. The two Republicans were ousted from their party leadership positions over the agreement. Voters defeated the budget referendum in May 2009.
In June 2009, Bass drew criticism from conservative commentators for statements she made during an interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Patt Morrison in response to a question about how conservative talk radio affected the Assembly's efforts to pass a state budget. Referencing the condemnation from conservative talk radio hosts that three Republicans experienced after they voted for a Democrat-sponsored plan to create revenue by raising taxes, Bass described the pressures Republican lawmakers face:
The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: "You vote for revenue and your career is over." I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair.
Bass, Dave Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines received the 2010 Profile in Courage Award for their leadership in the budget negotiations and their efforts to address the severe financial crisis. In presenting them with the award, Caroline Kennedy said:
Faced with a budget crisis of unprecedented magnitude, Karen Bass, Dave Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg and Mike Villines had the courage to negotiate with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and with each other on a compromise they believed was in the best interest of the citizens of California. Each made sacrifices, and each knew their agreement would have painful and far-reaching consequences for their constituents and for their own careers.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2010, Congresswoman Diane Watson retired from Congress and encouraged Bass to run for her seat. Bass was ineligible to run for reelection to the State Assembly in 2010 due to California's term limits so on February 18, 2010, Bass confirmed her candidacy to represent California's 33rd congressional district.
Bass raised $932,281.19 and spent $768,918.65. Her 2010 campaign contributions came from diverse groups, with none donating more than 15% of her total campaign funds. The five major donors to her campaign were labor unions, with $101,950; financial institutions, with $90,350; health professionals, with $87,900; the entertainment industry, with $52,400; and lawyers and law firms, with $48,650.
Bass won the election with over 86% of the vote on November 2, 2010.
In redistricting following the 2010 census, the district was renumbered from 33rd to 37th. In 2012 she had no primary opponent, and won the general election with 86% of the vote. She raised $692,988.53 and spent $803,966.15, leaving $52,384.92 on hand and a debt of $3,297.59.
Bass was involved in President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. She played a leadership role in the California African Americans for Obama organization and served on Obama's national African American Leadership Council. Bass had also served as a co-chair of African Americans for Obama in California during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Bass was reelected to a third term with 84.3% of the vote.
Bass was reelected to a fourth term with 81.1% of the vote. She endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2015. On August 3, 2016, Bass launched a petition to have then-candidate Donald Trump psychologically evaluated, suggesting that he exhibited symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The petition was signed by 37,218 supporters. She did not attend President Trump's inauguration after conducting a poll on Twitter.
Fueled by Trump's election and in an effort to channel Angelenos' political frustrations, Bass created the Sea Change Leadership PAC to activate, educate, and mobilize voters. She won her primary with 89.18% of the vote and was reelected to a fifth term with 88.2% of the vote.
Possible House speakership
After the 2018 elections, Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives. Representative Seth Moulton and others who felt the current leadership was "too old" gathered signatures to replace Nancy Pelosi as the Democrats' leader. Bass was their first choice for leader, but rejected the offer, supporting Pelosi for speaker. On November 28, 2018, Pelosi won the speakership on a 203-to-32 vote.
Vice presidential speculation and Biden administration
In July 2020, Bass was discussed as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. When Biden chose Kamala Harris, Bass tweeted, "@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now."
In November 2020, Bass was named a candidate for United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden Administration.
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Congressional Black Caucus, Chair
- Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Founder and Co-Chair
- Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA)
- American Sikh Congressional Caucus
- Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus
- Coalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)
- Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys
- Congressional Creative Rights Caucus
- Congressional Diabetes Caucus
- Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus
- Congressional Ethiopia Caucus
- Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus
- Congressional International Conservation Caucus
- Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
- Congressional Library of Congress Caucus
- Congressional Military Mental Health Caucus
- Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus
- Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus
- Congressional Social Work Caucus
- Congressional Valley Fever Task Force
- Congressional Progressive Caucus 
- Medicare for All Caucus
Bass served as the 2nd vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 115th Congress. She was elected chair of the CBC on November 28, 2018. Her priorities include the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, reinforcement of the Affordable Care Act, lowering health care costs, comprehensive criminal justice reforms, and ensuring that more Americans learn about the CBC's actions.
United States–Africa relations
Throughout her time in Congress, Bass has been the top Democrat on the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Her goal is to transform how Washington engages African nations and to promote the many opportunities to expand trade and economic growth between them and the U.S. One of her key priorities was to reauthorize and strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enables African nations to export goods to the U.S. duty-free. In 2015, Bass was instrumental in reauthorizing the bill.
Bass has advocated preventing and ending famine in Africa. In 2017, she helped secure nearly $1 billion in funds to combat famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. She has also introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions pertaining to democracy protection, expanding economic opportunity, and other issues in Africa. Bass continues to engage the African diaspora with regular popular policy breakfasts, which are open to the public.
Child welfare reform
Upon arriving in Congress, Bass founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY), a bipartisan group of members of Congress that develops policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system. One of the group's most significant achievements was the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, also known as Family First, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018. This reform aims to change child welfare systems across the country by addressing the top reasons children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care.
Starting in May 2012, the Caucus began hosting an annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, during which foster youth come to Washington DC for a week to learn about advocating for reforms to the child welfare system. The week culminates in Shadow Day, when participants spend a day following their member of Congress through their daily routine. Bass serves on the organization's board of directors.
Committee on Caucus Procedures
Nancy Pelosi appointed Bass to chair the Democratic Committee on Caucus and Procedures, previously known as the Committee on Oversight, Study and Review (OSR), in 2014. She served in that capacity for six years. The committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending rules for the House of Representatives Democratic caucus.
Bass believes that the criminal justice system is broken in part due to the disproportionate incarceration rates of poor people of color. Bass currently serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security. She has long called for criminal justice reform and to pay special attention to the way women are treated by the criminal justice system: how they originally entered the system, how they are treated in prison, and what happens to them after they are released.
In 2018, she voted in favor of the First Step Act, which divided Democrats and focused on rehabilitating people in prison by incentivizing them with the possibility of earlier release. Her contribution to the bill was a section addressing what she considers the inhumane practice of shackling women during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Bass believes that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the country and the world. Shortly before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned, she signed a letter to Trump demanding that Pruitt be fired for ethics violations. Bass also strongly supports the Paris Climate Agreement, and was one of the first 30 members of Congress to support the Green New Deal.
While campaigning for Congress in 2010, Bass supported legislation that with other regulations would have required all gun dealers to report sales to the federal government.
Bass participated in the 2016 sit-in against gun violence in the House of Representatives. Democratic members of Congress adopted the slogan "No Bill, No Break" in an attempt to push the introduction of legislation making it more difficult for Americans to own guns for self-protection. Bass strongly supports legislation to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition-feeding devices capable of accepting more than ten rounds in the United States. In 2019, she voted in favor of legislation to require a background check for every firearm sale and to close the loophole that allowed a gun to be acquired in the Charleston church massacre.
Bass supports universal health care and was one of the founders of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus. She has voted more than 60 times against repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, believing that Congress should improve it rather than repeal it.
In November 2016, Bass supported the passage of Measure HHH and Measure H, which promise billions of dollars for housing homeless individuals. She has said she believes that supporting public housing, promoting loan modifications and protecting consumers against unsustainable loans are not only necessary to help at-risk families and individuals, but fundamental for economic recovery.
In July 2018, Bass visited a federal facility used to detain migrant families and children separated from their parents after calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She also introduced the Family Unity Rights and Protections Act, which would require the federal government to reunite families that have been forcibly separated at the border.
Impeachment of Donald Trump
Bass is in favor of net neutrality and has supported legislation to protect the internet from attempts to roll back regulations. She supported the 2018 Music Modernization Act, which creates a formalized body, run by publishers, that administers the "mechanical licensing" of compositions hosted on music streaming services.
In 2020 Bass was one of more than 115 House Democrats to sign a letter criticizing Israel's plan to annex parts of Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank. She co-sponsored House Resolution 729, which expressed support for defense aid to Israel.
Bass has fought to give tax reductions for small businesses to hire new employees, increase the flow of credit to small businesses so they can grow and create jobs, and extend the research and development tax credit that encourages innovation and job creation. She also introduced the Local Hire Act to allow cities and counties to prioritize hiring local residents for infrastructure projects. The rule resulted in new jobs in Los Angeles. In May 2018, Bass and members of the Congressional Black Caucus introduced the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, omnibus legislation that would increase Black families' upward social mobility and help ensure equal protection under the law.
In 2018, the Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club named Bass its Public Official of the Year. In 2019, she voted in favor of the Equality Act, which bans discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and more.
Student loan debt
In 2019, Bass introduced two pieces of legislation to address student loan debt. The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2019 addresses this crisis in three major ways: creating a new "10-10" standard, capping the interest rate, and accounting for cost of living. With Danny Davis, she also introduced the Financial Aid Fairness for Students (FAFSA) Act, which would repeal a law that makes it all but impossible for people with a drug conviction to receive federal financial aid for higher education.
Bass is considered a liberal in her fiscal positions. She has a rating of 10% from the conservative California Tax Payers Association. The more liberal Consumer Federation of California gives her very high ratings. Bass has supported keeping taxes low for the middle class and "tax credits for small businesses to hire new employees". She has said that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire. In 2017, she voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, citing its disproportionate impact on California's middle-class families.
George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
After the death of George Floyd and massive nationwide protests, Bass and Representative Jerry Nadler co-authored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which would restrain some police practices and make it easier to prosecute police if they break the law. The bill would ban chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants.
According to ABC News:
The bipartisan vote was 236-181 to approve the measure, the most sweeping federal intervention into law enforcement in years. It would eliminate legal protections that shield police officers from lawsuits, make it easier to prosecute them for wrongdoing, impose a new set of restrictions on the use of deadly force, and effectively ban the use of chokeholds
The bill passed the House on June 25, 2020, but is not expected to pass the Senate.
From 1980 to 1986, Bass was married to Jesus Lechuga. Following their divorce, Bass and Lechuga jointly raised their daughter and her siblings, Bass's four stepchildren, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, together. Her daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga, and son-in-law, Michael Wright, were killed in a car accident in 2006.
- List of African-American United States Representatives
- List of female speakers of legislatures in the United States
- Women in the United States House of Representatives
- Young, Kerry (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Karen Bass, D-Calif. (33rd District)". Congressional Quarterly.
- "California Assembly District 47". California Assembly. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on June 2, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "Full Biography | Congresswoman Karen Bass". U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "Karen Bass – Archives of Women's Political Communication". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Iowa State University. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
Bass was born October 3, 1953, and raised in Los Angeles. She attended San Diego State University from 1971–1973 and was graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1990 with a bachelor of science in health sciences.
- Barone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2013). The Almanac of American Politics 2014. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 243–245. ISBN 978-0-226-10544-4. Copyright National Journal.
- "Aztec Action Network". San Diego State University. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
Residence: Los Angeles
- "Largest-Ever Congressional Black Caucus Sworn In". Diverse. January 3, 2019.
- "Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond Says Goodbye to Seat as he Prepares to Pass "Chair" to Rep. Karen Bass". January 2, 2019.
- "The Blue Wave Of Black Politicians Gets Sworn In". January 3, 2019.
- Vogel, Nancy (February 28, 2008). "L.A. woman to follow Nunez". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
- "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
- "Karen Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines". JFK Library. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Biography". Congresswoman Karen Bass. December 11, 2012.
- Ho, Catherine (February 21, 2009). "After budget battle, Bass has news for her old school". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
...humanities magnet from which she graduated in 1971.
- "Karen Bass: Madame Speaker". Los Angeles Times. June 27, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Rosen, Armin (July 27, 2020). "Biden VP Favorite Karen Bass' Journey From the Radical Fringe". Tablet. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Dovere, Edward-Isaac (July 31, 2020). "When Karen Bass Went to Work in Castro's Cuba: In 1973, Bass, who's now a potential Biden VP pick, traveled to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. 'I didn't have any illusions that the people in Cuba had the same freedoms I did,' she said". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- "About Karen". KarenBass.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
- "About Us". Community Coalition. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Profile Series: Representative Karen Bass -". February 27, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Samad, Anthony Asadullah (February 8, 2007). "Between the lines". The Black Commentator. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Bass, Karen (February 2007). "The State of Black California" (PDF). California Democratic Caucus. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Yi, Matthew (February 29, 2008). "L.A. lawmaker first African American woman to lead state Assembly". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 1, 2008.
- "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of". Black Voice News. March 6, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Q&A with Karen Bass: Life in the Hot Seat". Jewish Journal. June 3, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel. April 29, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Vogel, Nancy (May 14, 2008). "Assembly speaker sworn in". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- "Karen Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines". JFK Library. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Osborne, James (March 26, 2015). "California Democrat Accuses Talk Radio Conservatives of 'Terrorizing' Republicans". Fox News. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Morrison, Patt (June 27, 2009). "Madam Speaker: An interview with state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
- Merl, Jean (February 18, 2010). "Karen Bass confirms candidacy for seat in Congress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- "Representative Karen Bass' Campaign Finances – Project Vote Smart". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Van Oot, Torey (November 3, 2010). "Bass, Denham win seats in Congress". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- "California's 37th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Thomas, Ken; Wise, Lindsay (July 31, 2020). "Biden Considers Karen Bass, Lawmaker Known as Team Player, in Running-Mate Search". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
In the days after the 2018 midterm elections, a small group of dissatisfied House Democrats searched for a challenger to the party's leader, Nancy Pelosi. They were seeking someone to run for speaker who was well-regarded by the Congressional Black Caucus, among centrists and within progressive circles, according to people familiar with the effort. Their first choice was a legislator from Mrs. Pelosi's home state: Rep. Karen Bass.
- DeBonis, Mike; Costa, Rober (December 13, 2018). "'Her skills are real': How Pelosi put down a Democratic rebellion in bid for speaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's opponents knew they had an opportunity. But what they really needed was an alternative. This past summer, they thought they had identified the perfect candidate to replace Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the party's House leader: Rep. Karen Bass, a respected Californian who once served as speaker of the state Assembly.
- Ronayne, Kathleen (July 31, 2020). "'Building bridges': How Bass became a leading VP contender". Associated Press. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
After George Floyd's killing by police, she led Democratic efforts on legislation to overhaul law enforcement, a push that prompted Biden's team to take her more seriously as a potential running mate.
- MJ Lee, Jeff Zeleny and Jasmine Wright. "Joe Biden narrows down his VP list, with Karen Bass emerging as one of several key contenders". CNN.
- @KarenBassTweets (August 11, 2020). "@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now. 1/ pbs.twimg.com/media/EfKoltpWkAEqk13?format=jpg&name=small" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Who Are Contenders for Biden's Cabinet?". The New York Times. November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
- "Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations – House Foreign Affairs Committee". House.gov. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth". fosteryouthcaucus-karenbass.house.gov. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
- "Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus". Archived from the original on October 31, 2014.
- "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Rep. Bass Rejoins Quiet Skies Caucus in 115th Congress". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 2, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
- "Caucus Membrs". US House of Representatives. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
- Tully-McManus, Katherine (November 28, 2018). "Rep. Karen Bass Elected to Lead Growing Congressional Black Caucus". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Family First Prevention Services Act". CWLA. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "National Foster Youth Institute | Non-Profit Organization". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Lopez, German (May 22, 2018). "Congress's prison reform bill, explained". Vox. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Energy & the Environment". Congresswoman Karen Bass.
- "Rep. Bass Applauds Background Check Legislation". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 27, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Rep. Bass Speaks on Closing the Charleston Gun Loophole". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 28, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- World Combined Sources (February 10, 2020). "Reps introduce New Way Forward Act to fight criminalization of immigrants". People's World. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- "Support Grows for California Bill Giving Voters Power to Expand" (Press release). Equal Justice Society; Opportunity for All Coalition. May 28, 2020.
- Almukhtar, Sarah; Buchanan, Larry; Corum, Jonathan; Lu, Denise; Parlapiano, Alicia; Ward, Joe; Yourish, Karen (December 13, 2019). "'No Choice' or 'a Sham': Where Every House Member Stands on Impeachment". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- Congressmember Bass [@RepKarenBass] (December 13, 2019). "I just voted to proceed on both articles of impeachment into Donald Trump. He abused the power of his office. He obstructed Congress. No one is above the law. twitter.com/i/status/1205506362618331137" (Tweet). Retrieved December 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Kornbluh, Jacob (June 22, 2020). "Rep. Karen Bass: House letter against annexation must be 'bipartisan'". Jewish Insider. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Cosponsors - H.Res.729 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Expressing support for the expeditious consideration and finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance to Israel between the United States Government and the Government of Israel". Congress.gov.
- www.grandpixels.com (March 23, 2018). "42nd Annual Stoney Awards". Suzanne Westenhoefer. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Reps. Bass, Davis Introduce the FAFSA ACT". Chicago Defender. October 3, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Edmondson, Catie (June 25, 2020). "House Passes Sweeping Policing Bill Targeting Racial Bias and Use of Force". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
Democrats' legislation, spearheaded by Representative Karen Bass of California, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, included several measures that civil rights activists have been pushing for decades, such as amending the federal criminal code to make it easier to prosecute police officers for misconduct by lowering the standard that prosecutors must meet.
- Edmondson, Catie (June 8, 2020). "Democrats Unveil Sweeping Bill Targeting Police Misconduct and Racial Bias". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
'The Justice in Policing Act establishes a bold, transformative vision of policing in America,' said Representative Karen Bass of California, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. 'Never again should the world be subjected to witnessing what we saw on the streets in Minneapolis, the slow murder of an individual by a uniformed police officer.'
- Munoz, Anabel (June 24, 2020). "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act". KABC-TV. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
Congresswoman Karen Bass is pushing for law enforcement accountability at a federal level, and she credits demonstrators for prompting lawmakers to take action... The Congressional Black Caucus chair co-introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Among other things, it would ban chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at a federal level. The bipartisan vote was 236-181 to approve the measure, the most sweeping federal intervention into law enforcement in years.
- "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of (sic)". The Black Voice News. Riverside, California: Brown Publishing Company. March 6, 2008. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Couple die in crash on 405". Los Angeles Times. October 31, 2006. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karen Bass.|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 47th district
| Majority Whip of the California Assembly
| Majority Leader of the California Assembly
| Speaker of the California Assembly
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th congressional district
| Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority