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Hillary Clinton to court liberal members of Congress

Hillary Clinton will huddle privately with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, msnbc has learned.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to local residents during a campaign stop at the Iowa City Public Library, July 7, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Hillary Clinton will huddle privately with liberal Democratic lawmakers next week as she steps up her outreach and tries to lock down support in Congress, msnbc has learned.

The former senator is returning to Capitol Hill Tuesday to meet with Democrats, including with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the first time since announcing her second presidential run, two sources familiar with the meeting tell msnbc.

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In addition, Clinton will meet with both the House and Senate Democratic caucuses during their regularly scheduled weekly meetings, as NBC News first reported earlier this week, before attending smaller meetings with minority caucuses. Clinton will meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s visit with congressional progressives comes at a time when her liberal rival Sen. Bernie Sanders has been surging in the polls and drawing huge crowds in liberal enclaves.

Sanders, who co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus when he was in the House, met in June with its members, according to a congressional aide. The caucus also plans to meet with fellow Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley soon, though a date has not yet been set.   

Clinton is hoping to shore up her left flank by coming out with liberal policy proposals on immigration, criminal justice, voting rights, and other issues. Many liberal lawmakers sided with Barack Obama in 2008 over Clinton, and some are still uneasy with the former secretary of state. Many also wanted Clinton to take a stronger stand against Obama's fast-track trade authority.

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Still, at least 26 Democrats out of the 69-member Progressive Caucus — the largest among House Democrats — are already publicly supporting Clinton, according to a tally kept by The Hill newspaper. Members of the caucus met also with Clinton campaign officials last month, the congressional aide said.

Clinton has made an early push to win over members of Congress, led by her political director Amanda Renteria, a former top Senate aide and congressional candidate.