Bernie Sanders and Pramila Jayapal See Opportunity to Make the Most of a Budget That Is Below Their Target
The couple had worked behind the scenes and around the clock to ensure that escalating priorities were included in the proposal.
“We just spoke this morning. We spoke the other night. We spoke several days ago,” Jayapal, a Democratic congresswoman from Washington state, said Wednesday. “We are in very close coordination,” she added.
Jayapal called the framework an “important move forward,” acknowledging that the deal includes the five priorities progressives have pushed to include and major tax increases.
But, for Jayapal, this agreement is only a “down payment”.
“I don’t want people to think that if we do this package we’ll be done,” she said.
As Democrats continue to dig into the details of the Senate budget resolution proposal, Jayapal said on Wednesday that her support for a package with a lower price than she initially hoped for depended on how the cuts were made.
“There are different ways to get a lower number. What if the lower number is because some programs are not valid for the full 10 years, but they are still universal benefits and they last long enough that Americans can see what they’re getting … it’s one thing, rather than just cutting something off completely. “
“Support for our caucus is only guaranteed when we see how our priorities fit into the framework,” she added.
Last month Jayapal told reporters: “It would take $ 6-10 trillion for this package to really do what we need to do,” adding that the progressives’ message was “let’s go big, let’s be bold”.
Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats and played a key role in bringing this finish line deal together, was also pushing for the budget resolution to be in the order of $ 6 trillion. no later than Monday, but after the deal was announced late Tuesday. night, quickly rephrased the final deal as “a big deal”.
“It is the most important program in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said Wednesday. “It will impact millions of working class people. I am very proud of what we have.”
Progressive Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who pushed for the reconciliation package to include far-reaching action on climate change, described the deal as a “good start.”
“We are facing several nested crises – in particular a climate crisis. This package is a good start to tackle that, and we must continue to work hard to get meaningful climate action in the final deal. overall figure I wanted, but it’s a great first step, ”Markey said in a statement provided to CNN on Wednesday.
But, Sanders and Jayapal both told their colleagues on a Monday call that $ 3.5 trillion would not be enough to cover all the legislative priorities they wanted to get into the package, some progressives have left frustrated with the landing of the frame.
“This is a capitulation of the progressives,” a progressive lawmaker familiar with the call told CNN on Tuesday, responding to the number agreed.
“Many members of the team and the adjacent team will vote no,” the lawmaker added, referring to members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and clarifying that it will be a difficult road for the negotiations to come.
Another source familiar with Monday’s call said it was not about whether progressives would support the frontline number or deny their votes, but rather the reality of what should be removed from the list. priorities if the final number ended up being around. $ 3.5 trillion.
It wouldn’t be the first time progressives have signaled their potential withholding votes in a budget resolution process, if only to ultimately join the rest of their party in favor of the deal.
Democratic leaders are now faced with the task of satisfying all factions of the party in order to both cross the budget resolution to the finish line without letting the bipartisan infrastructure package crumble.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has acknowledged the twists ahead as Democratic leaders attempt to confuse their caucus with sprawling views behind the deal.
“We know the road will be long,” Schumer said Wednesday. “There are bumps along the way. This is just the first step in a long way that we have to go and have to go, but we will get there.”