The Vote Opens The Door For Democrats To Use A Key Legislative Maneuver To Try To Bypass Republican Opposition And Enact Bidens Economic Agenda
Hours after the Senate advanced a bipartisan bill to improve the nation’s infrastructure, Democrats forged ahead independently on a second front — adopting a $3.5 trillion budget that could enable sweeping changes to the nation’s health care, education and tax laws.
The 50-49 vote came early Wednesday morning, after lawmakers sparred in a marathon debate over the proposed sizable increase in spending and its potential implications for the federal deficit. Its passage marked another critical milestone in Democrats’ complex economic agenda, which includes new public-works investments that Republicans support — and a slew of additional policy proposals that the GOP does not.
“The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation for how our economy works for average Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said after the vote.
Chiefly written by Sen. Bernie Sanders , the $3.5 trillion blueprint sets in motion Democrats’ plans to expand Medicare, combat climate change and boost federal safety net programs, including those that target children and low-income parents. It paves the way for universal prekindergarten and new family leave benefits, and it aims to help immigrants obtain legal permanent residency status. Democrats aspire to finance the array of new initiatives through tax increases targeting wealthy families and profitable corporations, undoing the rate cuts imposed under President Donald Trump.
Nine Democrats Call For Prioritizing Vote On Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill At Odds With Pelosis Timeline
WASHINGTON—A group of centrist House Democrats threatened to block a vote on approved by the Senate this week until a bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed, highlighting the predicament Democratic leaders face trying to keep dueling factions of the party united around both pieces of legislation.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, nine House Democrats said they “will not consider voting for a budget resolution until” the House approves a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed Tuesday in the Senate and it is signed into law.
“With the livelihood of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package,” the lawmakers wrote.
That position puts them squarely at odds with the timeline mapped out by Mrs. Pelosi, who has repeatedly said she wouldn’t bring the infrastructure bill to the House floor until the Senate has passed the broader budget package now being crafted. Mrs. Pelosi’s office didn’t immediately respond to the letter.
Lawmakers Cite Concerns About Elimination Of State And Local Tax Deductions As Reform Framework Is Oked
ALBANY — U.S. Reps. John Faso and Elise Stefanik voted against the federal budget resolution on Thursday, joining 18 of their GOP colleagues in opposition to the budget blueprint. The resolution was approved by a razor-thin 216-212 margin, taking a step toward a tax code rewrite that Democratic officials have warned will have dire consequences for New Yorkers.
The budget resolution — approved by the U.S. Senate last week — includes the framework to allow the Senate to approve a tax plan with only 51 votes, thereby precluding the possibility of a Democratic filibuster.
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have pushed for an elimination of state and local tax deductions as part of tax reform.
Some New York officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have decried that move, saying it amounts to unconstitutional double taxation.
Faso, who represents the 19th Congressional District, said in a statement he could not vote for a budget that paves the way for the elimination of the SALT deductions.
Stefanik, who represents the 21st Congressional District, similarly cited concerns about the elimination of the SALT deductions.
Cuomo said that Stefanik, Faso and the other five New York House Republicans who voted against the resolution “understand the dire and devastating consequences to our middle class families and our economy.”
Senate Approves $35t Budget Plan That Would Expand Health Care Education And Climate Initiatives
WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a sweeping Democratic budget resolution along party lines early Wednesday that would make it possible to expand Medicare, education and environmental measures largely through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
The $3.5 trillion blueprint to pave the way for the massive social safety net expansion was adopted in a 50-49 vote after more than 14 hours of debate on a myriad of amendments.
Leaving the Capitol after the marathon “vote-a-rama,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “Well it’s been quite a night. Look, we still have a ways to go, and we’ve taken a giant step forward toward transforming America.”
House Dems Tell Pelosi They Won’t Vote On Budget Resolution Till Infrastructure Bill Passes
Nine moderate House Democrats told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they won’t vote on a budget resolution that lays out $3.5 trillion in spending until an infrastructure bill passes, the Associated Press reported.
The resistance is another hurdle for the proposed spending legislation, established as one of President Joe Biden‘s main priorities since taking office.
The House remains narrowly divided along party lines, and many Republicans are anticipated to resist the legislation. Democrats can lose only three votes and still prevail in finalizing the resolution without Republican support.
“We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law,” the nine centrist Democrats wrote in a letter to Pelosi, obtained Friday by AP.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
The centrists’ threat directly defies Pelosi’s announced plans, and she is showing no signs of backing down. It also completes a two-sided squeeze on the California Democrat, who has received similar pressure from her party’s progressives.
Congressional passage of the budget resolution seems certain because without it, Senate Republicans would be able to use a filibuster, or procedural delays, to kill a follow-up $3.5 trillion measure bolstering social safety net and climate change programs. That measure, not expected until autumn, represents the heart of Biden’s domestic agenda.
Joe Manchin Only Democrat To Join Republicans In Vote To Ban Critical Race Theory Funding
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote early Wednesday in favor of blocking federal funding from being used in the teaching of critical race theory in prekindergarten and K-12 schools.
The vote was held shortly after midnight Wednesday to decide on an amendment introduced by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton during the Senate‘s budget resolution negotiations for the 2022 fiscal year.
Aside from Manchin, the 49 other senators who voted in favor of the amendment were all Republicans. Every other Democrat in the Senate voted against the amendment’s passage, with only one senator—Republican Mike Rounds of South Dakota—not voting. The amendment passed 50-49.
Attention has focused frequently on Manchin because of his swing vote potential this year after Democrats gained a majority in the Senate. With 48 Democratic senators and two independents who caucus with the Democrats, Vice PresidentKamala Harris can break ties when they occur in the chamber.
Debate over critical race theory has divided politicians in the nation’s capital and throughout the U.S. in recent months. The idea behind it is to consider American history “through the lens of racism,” according to The Associated Press. A handful of states with Republican governors have taken steps to restrict critical race theory teaching in schools, the Associated Press reported.
Top Republican: Gop Won’t Help Raise Debt Limit To Fund $35 Trillion Spending Package
The top Senate Republican pledged Monday to oppose a massive spending package Democrats plan to greenlight in a budget vote this week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, warned Monday that Senate Republicans would not only vote against the spending package, but they would also oppose a measure to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
“Democrats have all the existing tools they need to raise the debt limit on a partisan basis,” McConnell said. “If they want 50 lockstep Democratic votes to spend trillions and trillions more, they can find 50 Democratic votes to finance it. If they don’t want Republicans’ input. They don’t need our help.”
Senate Democrats Monday unveiled a $3.5 trillion spending framework that would fund social programs the party believes will boost the middle class, lower taxes, and help create jobs.
The measure would pay for universal preschool, free community college, expanded Medicare benefits and child tax credits, and more. It would also provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrant farmworkers and their families.
Democrats plan to approve the bill without help from Republicans by using a budgetary tactic that would allow the bill to pass with 51 votes instead of the usual 60 votes.
The vote to unlock that procedure is expected to take place this week after the Senate passes a $1.2 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure bill.
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Budget And Infrastructure Bills Have Been Top Priorities For Us President Joe Biden
The U.S. Senate approved a $3.5-trillion US spending blueprint for President Joe Biden’s top priorities early on Wednesday morning in a 50-49 vote along party lines after lawmakers sparred over the need for huge spending to fight climate change and poverty.
The vote marks the start of weeks of debate within Biden’s Democratic Party about priorities including universal preschool, affordable housing and climate-friendly technologies.
With narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress, Democrats will need to craft a package that will win the support of both progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who want robust action on climate change, and moderates including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has expressed concern at the size of the bill.
The vote followed about 14½ hours of debate that started right after the Senate on Tuesday passed a $1-trillion US infrastructure bill in a bipartisan 69-30 vote, proposing to make the nation’s biggest investment in decades in roads, bridges, airports and waterways.
“It’s been quite a night. We still have a ways to go, but we’ve taken a giant step forward to transforming America,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the budget resolution passed. “This is the most significant piece of legislation that’s been considered in decades.”
Senate Passes Budget Resolution Setting Stage For Democrats’ $35 Trillion Package
Washington— The Senate passed a budget resolution early Wednesday that lays the groundwork for Democrats’ massive $3.5 trillion spending package, capping a flurry of activity just hours after senators approved a separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
The Senate passed the resolution on a party line vote of 50-49. The measure serves as the blueprint for President Biden’s social spending agenda, and will include funds to combat climate change, establish child care programs, expand Medicare and provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote.
The budget resolution represents the second track of a two-track system to pass infrastructure spending that was outlined by Schumer. He was adamant that the Senate pass both the bipartisan bill and a budget resolution before lawmakers left Washington for their August recess.
The resolution now heads to the House, where House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has told colleagues that the chamber will return from recess the week of August 23 to consider the budget resolution.
Mr. Biden expressed optimism that both measures would eventually reach his desk, saying Tuesday that he expects Democrats to remain united behind the $3.5 trillion plan as well as the $1 trillion plan.
Schumer On Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal: ‘we’re Going From Rescue To Recovery’
Under special rules for considering budget measures, the Senate was able to adopt the plan with a simple majority vote, circumventing a filibuster, advancing a blueprint for various committees to follow in writing their parts of the funding legislation.
Senators voted on 47 nonbinding amendments during the process, adopting some sponsored by Republicans. Among them were an amendment offered by freshman Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., adopted in a 99-0 vote, that would block federal funds for any jurisdictions that defund the police. Another, by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also adopted in a 99-0 vote, would ensure tax money doesn’t go to groups like Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. An amendment from Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., meanwhile, called for a fund to address climate change.
Because the budget measures are nonbinding, lawmakers typically use them to pitch messaging proposals, which many then use in campaign ads during later election cycles.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday as debate proceeded on the Senate floor that many of his Republican colleagues were “in a bit of shock now. They are finding it hard to believe that the president and the Democratic caucus are prepared to go forward in addressing the long-neglected needs of working families and not just the one percent and wealthy campaign contributors.”
The Gop Scored Two Wins In The Budget Blueprint On Abortion And Systemic Racism
Republicans claimed two narrow victories with potential long-term implications, with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the chamber’s more conservative Democrats, joining them on both nonbinding amendments.
One indicated support for health care providers who refuse to participate in abortions. The other voiced opposition to teaching critical race theory, which considers racism endemic to American institutions. There’s scant evidence that it’s part of public school curriculums.
The budget blueprint envisions creating new programs including tuition-free pre-kindergarten and community college, paid family leave and a Civilian Climate Corps whose workers would tackle environmental projects. Millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally would have a new chance for citizenship, and there would be financial incentives for states to adopt more labor-friendly laws.
Medicare would add dental, hearing and vision benefits, and tax credits and grants would prod utilities and industries to embrace clean energy. Child tax credits beefed up for the pandemic would be extended, along with federal subsidies for health insurance.
Besides higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, Democrats envision savings by letting the government negotiate prices for pharmaceuticals it buys, slapping taxes on imported carbon fuels and strengthening IRS tax collections. Democrats have said their policies will be fully paid for, but they’ll make no final decisions until this fall’s follow-up bill.
The Senate Passes A $35 Trillion Budget Proposal It’s The Latest Win For Biden
The Associated Press
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, walks towards the Senate floor as the Senate moves from passage of the infrastructure bill to focus on a massive $3.5 trillion budget resolution, a blueprint of President Joe Biden’s top domestic policy ambitions. Andrew Harnik/APhide caption
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, walks towards the Senate floor as the Senate moves from passage of the infrastructure bill to focus on a massive $3.5 trillion budget resolution, a blueprint of President Joe Biden’s top domestic policy ambitions.
WASHINGTON — Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs through the Senate early Wednesday, advancing President Joe Biden’s expansive vision for reshaping federal priorities just hours after handing him a companion triumph on a hefty infrastructure package.
Lawmakers approved Democrats’ budget resolution on a party-line 50-49 vote, a crucial step for a president and party set on training the government’s fiscal might at assisting families, creating jobs and fighting climate change. Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations would pay for much of it. Passage came despite an avalanche of Republican amendments intended to make their rivals pay a price in next year’s elections for control of Congress.
Senate Democrats Roll Child Care And Immigration Into A $35t Budget Framework
House leaders announced their chamber will return from summer recess in two weeks to vote on the fiscal blueprint, which contemplates disbursing the $3.5 trillion over the next decade. Final congressional approval, which seems certain, would protect a subsequent bill actually enacting the outline’s detailed spending and tax changes from a Republican filibuster in the 50-50 Senate, delays that would otherwise kill it.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., once a progressive voice in Congress’ wilderness and now a national figure wielding legislative clout, said the measure would help children, families, the elderly and working people — and more.
“It will also, I hope, restore the faith of the American people in the belief that we can have a government that works for all of us, and not just the few,” he said.
Manchin Capito Raising Concerns Over Bidens $35t Human Infrastructure Bill
While bipartisanship ruled the day Tuesday in the U.S. Senate for a $1.2 trillion package of traditional infrastructure projects, a vote on a budget resolution that begins the process for a bill that could cost as much as $4.2 trillion.
The U.S. Senate, in a 50-49 party-line vote, approved a budget resolution at 4 a.m. Wednesday. The vote came after a nearly 14-hour marathon of amendments — sometimes called a “vote-o-rama”— that took place nearly immediately after the Senate voted 69-30 for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with 19 Republican senators in favor.
The 92-page budget resolution is the first step in the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority in the Senate, unlike the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that required at least 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.
The $3.5 trillion framework is based on President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan and parts of the American Jobs Plan that didn’t make it into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs. It includes plans to expand Medicare coverage for dental, vision, and hearing, as well as expand coverage in states that have not opted in for increased Medicare coverage. It includes funding for universal pre-kindergarten, child care subsidies, paid family and leave, child tax credits, increases in Pell grants.
The Voting Process Took Several Hours And Lasted Into The Early Morning
In a budget ritual, senators plunged into a “vote-a-rama,” a nonstop parade of messaging amendments that often becomes a painful all-night ordeal. This time, the Senate had held more than 40 votes by the time it approved the measure at around 4 a.m. EDT, more than 14 hours after the procedural wretchedness began.
With the budget resolution largely advisory, the goal of most amendments was not to win but to force the other party’s vulnerable senators to cast troublesome votes that can be used against them in next year’s elections for congressional control.
Republicans crowed after Democrats opposed GOP amendments calling for the full-time reopening of pandemic-shuttered schools, boosting the Pentagon’s budget and retaining limits on federal income tax deductions for state and local levies. Those deduction caps are detested by lawmakers from upper-income, mostly Democratic states.
Republicans were also happy when Democrats opposed restricting IRS access to some financial records, which McConnell’s office said would prompt political “witch hunts.” And when Democrats showed support for Biden’s now suspended ban on oil and gas leasing on federal lands, which Republicans said would prompt gasoline price increases.
Senate Gop Blocks Debate On $12t Spending Plan In Blow To Schumer Biden
“Republicans must push back for the sake of our Country and, far less importantly, the sake of the Republican Party!” Trump concluded.
The motion to end debate on a motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill failed 51-49 in the Senate earlier Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voted against his own motion so that he could reintroduce it later.
All 50 Republicans voted against the motion, including moderate Republicans who had asked Schumer to give them more time to hammer out the details of the legislation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly stated that she will not consider the bipartisan bill until the Senate passes the $3.5 trillion Democrat-only budget resolution. Earlier this month, Trump told Republicans to stop negotiating the infrastructure deal, saying they were “just being played by the Radical Left Democrats.”
How Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Passed By Senate Could Affect You
If Biden and the Senate Democrats want to “outsource domestic policy to Chairman Sanders” with a “historically reckless taxing and spending spree,” Republicans lack the votes to stop them, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “But we will debate. We will vote.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democratic leader in the House, announced Tuesday that the chamber would return from recess Aug. 23 to vote on that blueprint and perhaps other measures. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has praised the budget resolution.
After the Senate adopted the resolution, Schumer set up a path for the chamber to take up voting rights legislation when the Senate returns from recess in September.
“Yesterday morning, we saw what it looks like when the Senate comes together,” he said. “This is what it looks like when it doesn’t. Voting rights, voting rights will be the first matter of legislative business when the Senate returns to session in September. Our democracy demands no less.”
The Senate turned to the budget minutes after it approved the other big piece of Biden’s objectives, a compromise $1 trillion bundle of transportation, water, broadband and other infrastructure projects. That measure, which passed 69-30 with McConnell among the 19 Republicans backing it, also needs House approval.
Lindsey Graham Tim Scott Vote Against Democrats’ $35 Trillion Budget
The Senate approved a resolution on a 50-49 party line vote early Wednesday morning. South Carolina’s two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, voted against the resolution. Graham called the budget a blueprint to incentivize further illegal immigration, increase rampant inflation and dramatically grow the size of government. “The…
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Senate Democrats Approve Budget Resolution All Republicans Vote No
The Senate on Friday at the cessation of a marathon session narrowly approved a budget resolution aimed at ramming through President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 assuagement bill. The 51–50 vote was only possible because Vice PresidentKamalaHarris utilized her tie-breaking competency as president of the “Senate.”
I am so thankful that our caucus cohered in unity. We had no cull given the quandaries facing America and the desire to move forward,
Senate MajorityLeader Chuck Schumer verbally expressed on the Senate floor in Washington after the vote. Schumer endeavored painting the work as bipartisan despite Republican support, noting that some of the flurry of amendments proposed overnight were adopted with backing from the “GOP.”
This was a giant first step, a step in concord, and we’re so profuse of gratitude that PresidentBiden put together an orchestration with input from so many of us, both sides of the aisle, to bring America back to surmount this horrible crisis,
Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday introduced the joint budget resolution. The House of Representatives approved it 218–212. No Republicans voted in favor. Because the Senate amended the resolution, the House will take it up again in a fresh vote.
Senate Passes Sweeping $1 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
The Senate approved a $1 trillion package to improve and modernize the nation’s aging infrastructure through a bipartisan 69-to-30 vote. The legislation now must pass the House.
WASHINGTON — The Senate took a major step on Wednesday toward enacting a vast expansion of the nation’s social safety net, approving along party lines that would allow Democrats to tackle climate change and fund health care, child care, family leave and public education expansion.
Much of that spending would be paid for with higher taxes on wealthy people and corporations.
After the Senate gave bipartisan approval to a $1 trillion infrastructure package on Tuesday, the budget vote came over unanimous Republican opposition. If House Democrats follow suit later this month, congressional Democrats this fall hope to draft an expansive package that will carry the remainder of President Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda. The Senate adopted the measure 50 to 49, minutes before 4 a.m.
The blueprint sets in motion a perilous legislative process aimed at creating the largest expansion of the federal safety net in nearly six decades. The House will return early from its scheduled summer recess the week of Aug. 23 to take up the budget, so committees in both chambers can begin work fleshing out the party’s vision for what would be the greatest change to social welfare since the 1960s’ Great Society.
Understand the Infrastructure Bill
Votevets Hits Gop For Vote Against Va Funds In Budget Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC — VoteVets, the largest progressive group of veterans in America, is slamming Republican Senators for voting against an $18 billion to upgrade and mordernize Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, in the budget resolution the Senate voted on, today.
In a statement, Mary Kaszynski, Director of Government Relations for VoteVets, said in a statement:
“With over 9 million veterans in the VA Health System, ensuring that they have the best facilities possible is paramount in keeping our promise to them. Unfortunately, every single Republican voted against sending more funds to the VA to modernize and upgrade facilities, this morning. With over 325,000 veterans in Wisconsin, how can Senator Ron Johnson justify that? With over 1.5 million veterans in Florida, how does Marco Rubio justify that? Our veterans won’t forget this vote.”
The 19 Gop Senators Who Voted For The $1t Infrastructure Bill
Nineteen Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison Mitchell McConnellTom Cotton calls on Biden to ‘destroy every Taliban fighter’ near KabulBiden holds video conference with security team to discuss Afghanistan drawdownTaliban capture Afghan government’s last northern strongholdMORE , voted with all Democrats on Tuesday to pass a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
The bill still needs to pass the House, but gives President Biden
The passage of the bill comes just before Democrats take up a budget resolution that greenlights their ability to pass a separate $3.5 trillion spending plan, packed with the party’s top priorities, later this year without GOP votes.
No Republicans are expected to support the budget resolution or the subsequent spending package, which is unlikely to get voted on before late September.
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Next Stop Is The House Which Plans To Vote The Week Of Aug 23
The Senate adopted its fiscal 2022 budget resolution early Wednesday morning by a vote of 50-49, paving the way for the House to take up the blueprint.
Final adoption in the House would unlock the reconciliation process, which Democrats are planning to use to pass a filibuster-proof $3.5 trillion package of spending and tax breaks intended to expand the social safety net and combat climate change.
The Senate worked through Tuesday and overnight on numerous amendments of the marathon voting session known as a “vote-a-rama” on the budget resolution before wrapping things up around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted to kick off a debate over Democrats’ budget blueprint that, once adopted by both chambers, will unlock the door to a yet-to-be-written $3.5 trillion package of new spending and tax breaks for families and lower-income workers and to combat the effects of climate change. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday his chamber would take up the blueprint the week of Aug. 23, assuming it’s adopted by the Senate.
The motion to proceed to the budget was adopted 50-49. Typically that vote triggers up to 50 hours of debate, evenly divided between the majority and minority to control. But with the session already stretching farther into August than senators anticipated, neither side had much appetite to drag things out.
But Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told reporters “there’s no reason to keep us here too late.”
What Is Happening With The Bill Using Budget Reconciliation
Congressional Democrats are fast-tracking the relief bill using budget reconciliation. But the budget tool sets strict limits on what can included, and not everything Democratic leaders want to accomplish in the stimulus bill may meet the requirements for the reconciliation process. On Thursday, the Senate’s lead legislative rule-keeper — its parliamentarian — said including a boost to the minimum wage rate in the bill would not meet the requirements. Here’s why.
With budget reconciliation, a funding bill needs a simple majority to pass, instead of the normal 60 votes required to approve spending or revenue legislation. The bill also can’t be tied up with a filibuster, where a senator can use a variety of foot-dragging tactics to block or delay a bill.
Because it can be used to pass fiscal legislation that may not have bipartisan support, the budget reconciliation process comes with strict guidelines about how it can be used and how often Congress can use it. First, it can be used just for legislation that changes federal spending, revenues and debt limits, like President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus package. Something called the — named after former West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd — prevents items that don’t fit into one of those three budget categories from being included.
Senate Adopts Budget That Paves Way For $35t Spending Plan
The chamber adopted on party lines a 92-page framework for the package of climate and social initiatives Democrats hope to enact this fall.
During a floor speech Tuesday morning, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed a fusillade of amendments related to national security, military funding, school reopening, federal funding for abortions and much more. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
08/11/2021 04:58 AM EDT
Senate Democrats adopted a budget measure early Wednesday morning to deliver their next filibuster-proof ticket to passing major legislation against the will of their GOP colleagues.
After more than 14 hours of continuousamendment votes, the chamber adopted on party lines a 92-page framework for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package of climate and social initiatives, including subsidized child care, expanded Medicare and paid family and medical leave benefits. Once both chambers have approved the budget instructions, it will unlock the reconciliation process, which empowers the majority party to eventually clear the final bill with just 51 votes in the Senate, rather than the usual 60-vote hurdle.
After the 50-49 vote Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the move “a massive step towards restoring the middle class” and giving “more Americans the chance to get there.”
The amendment marathon was the Senate’s third this year, after Democrats deployed the reconciliation process to pass Biden’s$1.9 trillion pandemic relief package in March.
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