Pelosi’s spokesman says the speaker plans to reduce deadlines on some programs, axing others altogether.
Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal is fundraising by criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Monday’s remarks that Democrats need to cut the price of their reconciliation bill by including fewer programs in it.
Jayapal’s campaign sent the email, first reported by Politico and confirmed by Granthshala News via the site archive of political emails, Tuesday evening. it quoted Monday letter Pelosi, from D-Calif., and he made the remarks at a press conference on Tuesday to warn supporters that the speaker may be too ready to focus on key progressive priorities for Democrats to pass a reconciliation bill.
“Did you see what Nancy Pelosi said late last night?” The email subject line reads.
Pelosi unclear on time, details of DEMS reconciliation talks as year-end deadline looms on Biden agenda
“Democrats shouldn’t leave behind a roadmap for child care, paid leave, universal pre-K, community college, affordable housing, Medicare expansion, climate action, and citizenship for Dreamers,” Jayapal, D-Wash, campaign email continues Is. “So why is Speaker Pelosi suggesting that we should allow some conservative Democrats to overturn the popular cornerstone policies of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act? We need to deliver.”
In the letter under consideration on Monday, Pelosi said “difficult decisions” would have to be made on what to include in the reconciliation bill. “Overwhelmingly, the guidance I’m getting from members is to do less things well so that we can still have a transformative impact,” she said.
Pelosi both expanded on that remark at Tuesday’s press conference and appeared to be partly walking back to it. She said she was “very disappointed” that the bill would not hold up to the original $3.5 trillion value, but that a smaller package could still be a major victory for Democrats.
But stressing exactly what events will take place on the chopping block, Pelosi did not give specifics, saying it was only a “discussion”. When asked what could be the first program to take the axe, the speaker said she did not know before saying, “Time will be reduced in many cases to reduce costs.”
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To artificially reduce the cost of a program by shortening its duration—in the hope that Congress will reauthorize it in the future—is a common budget ploy in Congress. But this is in contrast to Pelosi’s message on Monday in which she said members “want to do less things well.”
Tuesday was not the first time Jayapal raised funds by beating up other Democrats who did not share his progressive position on reconciliation talks. Subject line of Jayapal campaign email from October 7 reads, “Our response to Manchin: No.”
But criticism of Pelosi by name, and similar public statements from Jayapal and other progressives, may provide a window into why Pelosi appeared on Tuesday to soften her Monday remarks about cutting the price of a reconciliation bill. Gave.
“What should we cut to reduce topline numbers? Climate action? Pre-K? Paid leave? Child care?” Jaipal tweeted on Tuesday. “No. We can and should distribute every piece of the transformative Build Back Better Act to people across America. We can’t afford that.”
“We should realize by now that cutting any of these priorities off the Build Back Better agenda would be a self-defeating strategy for Democrats,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Min., said. “We must give our full agenda on behalf of our constituents.”
Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hamill clarified To emphasize the speaker’s comments on Tuesday that the “timing” of some programs may be the first, Democrats will also have to make wholesale cuts for others.
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This could lead to a fight between moderates and progressives – and even those within all but the factions – about which programs are abolished, who fall back and who are fully covered in the final reconciliation bill. remain funded.
Negotiations are ongoing over the course of the next several weeks, with the potential to extend beyond Pelosi’s Halloween target set earlier this month and in November. But given the widening gap between the two sides, Democrats risk moving their reconciliation talks into a key December deadline, which includes the end of government funding on December 3 and a possible loan default shortly thereafter.
The crush of legislative deadlines may not completely derail the Democrats’ agenda, but it could stymie it in a highly polarized Congress.