Their message was meant for all Democrats, not just liberals. But party leaders are keenly aware of the need to head off unrest over the potential exclusion of many top progressive priorities as they rush to clinch a deal with key centrists. To them, a bill that enacts some of the party's marquee policy promises is far better than elongating the infighting that's consumed the Democratic Party for roughly six months now. As Democratic leaders try to finalize an agreement with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) this week, major liberal priorities — once seen as red lines — have repeatedly been crossed, pared back or even cut all together. Medicare expansion, new Medicaid coverage and paid leave are all threatening to go the way of a carbon tax and the Clean Electricity Performance Plan: overboard. Progressives are preparing to reluctantly embrace the $1 trillion-plus legislation. While it's definitely not the bill they wanted, it’s likely the best deal they’re going to get with Democrats’ narrow majorities in both chambers. “The vast majority of our priorities are in, but there are a couple of areas where that’s still not the case,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters Monday night. “What we’ll continue to do is push as hard as we can, but just recognize that there are 50 senators and we have no margin in the Senate.” Still, she added: “Nobody should take progressive votes for granted.” Even as they vowed to keep fighting for policy priorities at risk of being left behind, Jayapal and her liberal allies were touting the progress they’ve made. Several of their five “must have” policies in the bill would still be included, they said, such as delivering billions of dollars for affordable housing and the so-called care economy, including child and elder care. “We are headed toward a win. Will it be everything that we want? It's clear that it won't be, it's just a matter of how much we are able to keep in,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas). “You've got a lot of cooks in the kitchen but only a couple of chefs.” Progressives’ evolution is a remarkable shift in stance from the group that, just weeks ago, was threatening to tank another high profile agenda item of President Joe Biden’s — the Senate-passed infrastructure bill — if leadership didn't meet their demands about the broader bill. Now, as they face real urgency to deliver, progressives in Congress are taking a pragmatic turn, even as they lament what may be left behind. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said it would be a “major disappointment” to cut a deal at $1.5 trillion and she’s “not happy” paid leave may be left out. Yet in the end, she said she will be “open-minded about my position on the ultimate bill.” “You draw a red line, and then you get stuck. You know, I'm not interested in getting stuck,” Hirono said. Asked about Manchin whittling the bill down, she said: “Considering that we need all 50 votes to get anything done, you know that we're in a situation where one person can do that." Not everyone is happy. Many liberals are privately fuming at other pieces at risk of being left out of the bill, particularly climate components, drug pricing and expanding Medicare. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declined to comment on the possibility that his Medicare expansion could be pared back or even eliminated, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) acknowledged she’s begun a “new conversation” on paid leave with Manchin over his opposition to a strong federalized program. "It's really frustrating, it's as simple as that,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) of seeing the bill downsized. "Where we'll land is . . . read the full article here.