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Leader of House Progressives Presses Biden to Enact Build Back Better through Executive Action

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) gives an interview at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., November 4, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), chairwoman of the progressive caucus, urged President Biden to enact the Democrats’ massive social-spending package through executive action after Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition derailed the bill in Congress for now.

“Taking executive action will also make clear to those who hinder Build Back Better that the White House and Democrats will deliver for Americans,” Jayapal wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Sunday, in an astonishing bid to ram through at least parts of a policy whose true cost could run into the trillions.

She assured that the progressive bloc is committed to codifying the plan and will “continue to work toward legislation for Build Back Better, focused on keeping it as close to the agreed-upon framework as possible.” The congresswoman said the caucus is working on its own declaration of priorities “including lowering costs, protecting the health of every family, and showing the world” that the U.S. “is serious about our leadership on climate action.”

Jayapal, meanwhile, slammed Manchin for pulling his support for the bill. She said he “went back on his commitment to the president and seemingly killed the bill on national television” when he announced his rejection on Fox News. Republicans, however, have been quick to point out that at least 51 senators, not just Manchin, opposed Build Back Better.

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