Obama tells freshman Dems to consider how to pay for progressive policies

Former President Obama reportedly had words of advice for a group of freshman Democrats late Monday at a private event in Washington where he warned about pursuing bold ideas without plans for implementing them.

According to The Washington Post, which cited sources at the event, Obama counseled new members of Congress from his party on making change in the halls of Capitol Hill.


“He said we [as Democrats] shouldn’t be afraid of big, bold ideas — but also need to think in the nitty-gritty about how those big, bold ideas will work and how you pay for them,” one attendee told the Post.

“He was speaking to staying in touch with your constituents," added Rep. Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensDemocrat Haley Stevens hangs on to Michigan House seat Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night US Chamber of Commerce set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats MORE (D-Mich.), who previously served in the Obama administration, according to the newspaper. "Making sure you’re doing the regular communications as well as [recognizing] that there’s oftentime nuances to policymaking and that it takes time."

Obama also reportedly praised Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.), whom he celebrated as a tough fighter for Democratic policies.

“The reason I love Nancy is because she combines a passion for doing what’s right for our country and our kids, along with a toughness that can’t be matched on the Hill,” the former president said, according to the Post.

The remarks were reportedly seen by some at the gathering as caution against plans for bold progressive ideas such as the "Green New Deal" and "Medicare for all," which critics have said are too costly.

Freshman Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far New Consensus co-founder discusses proposal for Biden to use Fed to sidestep Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) have espoused support for such positions in recent months while challenging party leadership on issues such as health care, policy toward Israel and other areas of dispute.