Ms Jayapal, 52, is the only Indian American to figure in the Politico's power list. She ranks fifth on the list.
"18 to watch in 2018 highlights politicians, activists and operatives across the country who are poised to have a big year in 2018," the magazine said.
"Jayapal, a fast-rising democratic star and determined critic of President Donald Trump, has assumed the mantle of a House "leader of the resistance."
From her spot as first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she has worked as "a relentless advocate of civil rights and immigration reform on Capitol Hill," said her friend and fellow freshman House member Republican Ro Khanna," Politico said.
Among her most recent drives include a legislative pushback against US President Donald Trump's threats to end Temporary Protected Status for thousands of Haitians and Salvadorans by allowing them to apply for permanent residency if they can prove they would face extreme hardship if they return to their home countries.
"She is a groundbreaker," says Democracy for America's Robert Cruickshank, who is also one of Ms Jayapal's constituents.
"She's really positioned herself to be an essential player in the future of the Democratic Caucus in the House.
With determination, steely drive and some well-placed tweets, Ms Jayapal has "taken a deliberate approach to get there," he said.
Ms Jayapal - the first Indian-American woman to serve in the US House of Representatives - has rarely backed down from a challenge, Politico said.