Far-Left “Squad” member and Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal told the Biden administration to use executive authority to circumvent Congress and deliver President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, as his $2 trillion social spending plan is expected to fail in the U.S. Senate.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post Sunday, Jayapal blamed moderate Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for going back on his promise to the President and effectively killing the bill.
“Nearly a year ago, President Biden laid out his Build Back Better agenda: a broad vision to meet the individual and collective challenges Americans face, necessarily ambitious to address crises both created and exposed by the pandemic,” Jayapal wrote. “For most of 2021, Democrats worked to pass legislation that realizes that vision. The president negotiated with Congress, including Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) directly. Sen. Manchin committed to the president — who relayed that commitment to House members — that he would support the legislative framework unveiled on Oct. 28.”
“But on Dec. 20, Sen. Manchin went back on his commitment to the president and seemingly killed the bill on national television. In a town where your word is everything, this was a stunning rebuke of his own party’s president.”
“Despite that, we must move forward,” she continued. “The president’s agenda is even more urgent today. The omicron variant is surging as covid-19 has once again disrupted people’s ability to work, care for children and elders, access medical care and make ends meet. We simply cannot abandon our vision.”
Jayapal blamed the failure of the “Build Back Better” agenda on the legislative process. She wrote that the Congressional Progressive Caucus, of which she is chairwoman, originally proposed a massive omnibus spending bill to put Biden’s agenda into law. “But seeking a show of bipartisanship, the White House, at the urging of conservative Democratic senators, split the legislation into two vehicles,” the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, and the “Build Back Better” bill, which she notes contains 85% of the Biden administration’s domestic agenda.
The effect, Jayapal wrote, was that the interests of women and minority groups were put on the back burner. “People of color, women and young people helped deliver the White House and Congress to Democrats, but their needs were consistently delayed in search of bipartisanship,” she complained.
She then lionized the efforts of her caucus, saying that as Democrats worked to pass infrastructure on a bipartisan basis, “CPC was left to protect [Build Back Better] — often in the face of remarkable pressure.” The Progressives only relented, she waxed, when they felt they “had reached [their] point of maximum leverage,” and that if they held up the infrastructure bill again, Manchin would scuttle both bills.
Jayapal promised that Progressives would keep fighting for Build Back Better, despite the difficulty in coming to an agreement with Manchin, because “legislation remains the best path for delivering enduring relief.” At the same time, she wrote, “we are calling on the president to use executive action to immediately improve people’s lives.”
“Taking executive action will also make clear to those who hinder Build Back Better that the White House and Democrats will deliver for Americans.”
“We call on our governing partners to join us in advancing that philosophy, guided by racial, gender and economic justice — not corporations’ bottom lines,” Jayapal concluded. “This moment for the Biden administration and Congress can either lead to our greatest failure or our greatest success.”
Jayapal previously urged the Biden administration to carry out its domestic agenda by executive fiat last week, as The Daily Wire reported.
The Senate adjourned for the year on December 18th. They will return January 3rd.