Filed Under: Politics

Pramila Jayapal: Striving to save Democrats’ agenda through compromise

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The House of Representatives is prepared to vote on the infrastructure and spending bills this week, according to Representative Pramila Jayapal. As Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal has been one of the leaders working toward compromise within the Democratic Party. Her most recent challenge has been bringing moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into the fold.

Jayapal has represented much of Seattle and the surrounding area since 2017. That year, she made history, becoming the first South Asian American woman in the House of Representatives.

LONGWORTH: OBVIOUSLY, DEMOCRATS ARE DIVIDED THESE DAYS.

YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE – ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF *HOUSE* DEMOCRATS IDENTIFY AS “PROGRESSIVE.”

REPRESENTATIVE PRAMILA JAYAPAL LEADS THEM —WHICH MAKES HERS JUST ONE NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY.

JAYAPAL: “I THINK WE ALL FEEL STILL, EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT GETTING TO AN AGREEMENT ON A REALLY TRANSFORMATIONAL BILL THAT WILL FUNDAMENTALLY LIFT PEOPLE UP WITH THE PRIORITIES THAT THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS HAD LAID OUT FIVE MONTHS AGO”

LONGWORTH: AS CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS, JAYAPAL NEGOTIATES SEEMINGLY NONSTOP WITHIN HER OWN PARTY.

PARTICULARLY WITH MODERATES LIKE SENATORS JOE MANCHIN AND KYRSTEN SINEMA—TO COMPROMISE ON LEGISLATION AND BRING THEM INTO THE FOLD.

AND WHILE THE SEATTLE REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICLY PUSHED FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS–INTRODUCING PROPOSALS LIKE THE PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE ACT.

A BUZZFEED NEWS REPORT REVEALED SHE MAY NOT ACTUALLY PRACTICE THOSE VALUES IN HER OWN OFFICE.

REPORTED INTERVIEWS PAINT A VERSION OF JAYAPAL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WHO “BERATED STAFF IN FRONT OF OTHERS, DEMANDED GRUELING HOURS, AND MAINTAINED AN OFFICE CULTURE MARKED BY CONSTANTLY CHANGING EXPECTATIONS AND LITTLE TOLERANCE FOR ERROR.”

BUT IN THE PUBLIC EYE, SHE’S SETTLED INTO HER SEAT, SUPPORTING–AND SOMETIMES CORRALLING–MORE REBELLIOUS PARTY MEMBERS LIKE REPRESENTATIVES ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, ILHAN OMAR, AND RASHIDA TLAIB.

IT’S FITTING, CONSIDERING HER OWN HISTORY OF PROTEST–AGAINST BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATIONS’ POLICIES.

JAYAPAL: “SO, I JUST GOT ARRESTED WITH A GROUP OF…I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY, BUT OVER 500 WOMEN…”

LONGWORTH: BUT JAYAPAL’S APPROACH ISN’T ALL ABOUT PUSHBACK.

SHE KNOWS HER PORTION OF THE HOUSE CARRIES WEIGHT, AND SHE’S THROWN IT BEHIND A MORE-MODERATE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND HIS BUILD BACK BETTER PLAN–

JAYAPAL: “THE PRESIDENT IS THE INSPIRER, HE IS THE CLOSER, HE IS THE CONVINCER, THE MEDIATOR IN CHIEF. HE REALLY IS DOING A PHENOMENAL JOB.”

LONGWORTH: ALL THIS, AN ATTEMPT TO BRIDGE THE DEMOCRATIC DIVIDE–AT LEAST TO GET SOME LEGISLATION PASSED.

AND THAT MAY BE QUITE THE UNDERTAKING IN 2021, BUT JAYAPAL’S ALREADY MADE HISTORY AS THE FIRST SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN WOMAN ELECTED TO THE HOUSE.

SO THAT’S U.S. REPRESENTATIVE PRAMILA JAYAPAL–JUST ONE NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY.

The House of Representatives is prepared to vote on the infrastructure and spending bills this week, according to Representative Pramila Jayapal. As Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal has been one of the leaders working toward compromise within the Democratic Party. Her most recent challenge has been bringing moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into the fold.

Jayapal has represented much of Seattle and the surrounding area since 2017. That year, she made history, becoming the first South Asian American woman in the House of Representatives.

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