Pelosi, who negotiated for days with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) over the final contours of the massive spending bill, stepped up her efforts on Thursday. Vote counts by party leaders earlier in the day had shown that Democrats were dozens of votes shy of the minimum 100 votes they had promised Republicans. Pelosi urged her colleagues to support the measure in public and private, and top Obama administration officials repeated the message in a closed-door meeting with Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday afternoon.
Democrats and especially progressives were upset the measure ends a decades-long ban on oil exports and fails to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal problems. In a letter to her colleagues on Friday morning, Pelosi once again repeated that Ryan had vowed to “take action” on Puerto Rico-related legislation by the end of March 2016.
Pelosi argued that Democrats used their leverage in the negotiations to block dozens of “poison pill” riders that Republicans wanted. She told rank-and-file members that if they don’t support this bill, Democrats will end up with reduced spending on domestic programs they support.