Jayapal Says Biden’s Latest Reconciliation Offer Is ‘Not The Number We Want’

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) chairwoman and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal claimed that President Joe Biden’s latest offer of a reconciliation package costing between $1.9-2.2 trillion was “not the number we want,” following a meeting between left-wing members of the House of Representatives and the president.

“The president has consistently laid out a number that is somewhere between $1.9 and $2.2 trillion, and I think, look, it’s not the number that we want. We have consistently tried to make it as high as possible,” Jayapal told reporters following a Tuesday afternoon meeting at the White House. Jayapal was one of nine left-wing Democrats to meet with Biden on Tuesday afternoon. Five moderate Democrats from the House and three Senate moderates also met with Biden on Tuesday afternoon.

Biden had previously floated a similar number in an Oct. 1 meeting with House moderates, according to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sided with a moderate faction of the Democratic caucus Tuesday morning when he told reporters that he believes the reconciliation package, dubbed the Build Back Better Act, should include “fewer things [done] better” over a longer period of time. Left-wingers and moderates have most recently clashed on whether or not the package should include a few key programs paid for over a longer period of time, or many programs paid for over a shorter period of time. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Budget Will Do ‘Fewer Things Well’ As Dems Brace For Cuts)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin opposes one key provision the CPC has been demanding, a tax on companies that use carbon-based energy, and has called on Democrats to institute work requirements for a child tax credit.

Despite Manchin’s opposition and the threat of cuts, Jayapal emphasized that her group “feel[s] very good that the majority of those priorities will be in this bill.”

“I think the president has been working incredibly hard to get everybody to a place where we can move this forward and finish this process so that we can start on whatever is the next important thing that we need to do,” she continued. “At the end of the day, the idea that we can do these programs, a multitude of programs and actually get them going so that they deliver immediate transformational benefits to people is what we’re focused on.”