Jayapal's campaign sent an email, first reported by Politico and confirmed by Fox News through the site Archive of Political Emails, Tuesday evening. It cited Pelosi’s, (D-Calif) Monday letter , and comments she made in a Tuesday press conference to warn supporters that the speaker might be willing to cave on major progressive priorities to pass Democrats' reconciliation bill.
"Did you see what Nancy Pelosi said late last night?" the email subject line reads.
"Democrats should NOT leave child care, paid leave, universal pre-K, community college, affordable housing, Medicare expansion, climate action, and a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers behind," the Jayapal, D-Wash., campaign email went on. "So 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."
On Monday, Pelosi wrote "difficult decisions" will have to be made on what to include in the reconciliation bill. "Overwhelmingly, the guidance I am receiving from Members is to do fewer things well so that we can still have a transformative impact," she said.
Pelosi both expanded on that comment at a Tuesday press conference and appeared to partially walk it back. She expressed that she is "very disappointed" that the bill won't be at the original $3.5 trillion price but that a scaled-down package can still be a major win for Democrats.
But pushed on what programs exactly would be on the chopping block, Pelosi did not get into specifics and said it is simply a "discussion." Questioned further on what the first programs to get the ax might be, the speaker said she did not know before saying, "The timing would be reduced in many cases to make the costs lower."
Shortening the duration of a program to make its cost seem artificially low – in hopes that a future Congress will reauthorize it – is a common budget trick in Congress. However, it seems at odds with Pelosi's Monday missive in which she said members wanted to do "fewer things well."
Tuesday wasn't the first time Jayapal raised money by slamming other Democrats who don't share her progressive position on the reconciliation negotiations. The subject line of a Jayapal campaign email from Oct. 7 reads, "Our response to Manchin: No."
Nonetheless, calling out Pelosi by name, and similar public statements from Jayapal and other progressives, could provide a window into why Pelosi appeared to soften her previous comment on how to cut the reconciliation bill's price.
"What should we cut to lower the topline number? Climate action? Pre-k? Paid leave? Child care?" Jayapal tweeted Tuesday. "No. We can and must deliver every piece of the transformational Build Back Better Act to people across America. We can’t afford not to."