Jayapal fundraising off Pelosi comments about smaller spending package

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks to reporters outside the House Chamber prior to a vote on the extending the debt limit on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash.) reelection campaign sent out a fundraising email criticizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) comments about negotiating a lower price tag on the Democrats’ social spending package.

“Why is Speaker Pelosi suggesting we should allow a couple of conservative Democrats to leave behind popular cornerstone policies of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act? We need to deliver,” Jayapal’s fundraising email said.

Pelosi voiced disappointment at her Tuesday press conference over the need to make cuts to the current proposal in order to get moderate Democrats on board. 

“I’m very disappointed that we’re not going with the original $3.5 trillion, which was very transformative,” Pelosi said on Tuesday, forecasting “some difficult decisions because we have fewer resources.”

“But whatever we do, we’ll make decisions that will continue to be transformative,” Pelosi added. 

As chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal struck a more critical tone in her email.

“Democrats should not be negotiating against themselves. We should be passing President Biden’s popular Build Back Better Act and delivering for the people,” the email read.

The ongoing debate between progressive and centrist Democrats over the size of the reconciliation bill has delayed a vote in the House on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

While Jayapal initially insisted that the plan be $3.5 trillion, she has since indicated a willingness to go lower but has joined other progressives lawmakers in pushing the moderate senators opposed to that price tag — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — to outline clear demands for their support. 

“I don’t feel the need to give a number because I gave my number. It was [$3.5 trillion],” Jayapal said on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month. “So, if you’re in a negotiation, you need to have a counteroffer before you bid against yourself.” 

Tags budget reconciliation Build Back Better Joe Biden Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Pramila Jayapal Progressive caucus
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