The Daily Beast

Pramila Jayapal Just Called Nancy Pelosi’s Bluff—Now Can She Deliver?

Jose Luis Magana/AP

There’s a popular backhanded compliment about progressive lawmakers, that they’re great at messaging but just don’t understand legislation. After Thursday’s successful showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that idea has been put to rest.

Progressives can proudly claim that their unified show of strength, orchestrated by the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon a rushed vote on the Senate’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would have undermined President Biden’s larger, still-unpassed $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package and shafted Americans out of trillions of dollars in critical domestic investment.

The picture isn’t so rosy for a Democratic establishment that has so far failed to use its unified governing power to do much actual governing. Pelosi now must regroup after a rare and embarrassing public retreat. Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are no closer to scraping senatorial barnacles Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema off the ship of state. And the party is moving left with disorienting speed.

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