Reconciliation Conference Agreement Procedures
Even though a conference agreement cannot be amended, it is still subject to Byrd rule requirements in the Senate. Thus, although the Byrd rule does not apply in the House, it constrains what can be included in the reconciliation conference agreement. A provision violating the Byrd rule can be struck from the conference agreement on the Senate floor unless 60 Senators vote to waive the point of order. Stripping a provision due to a Byrd rule violation does not mean the conference agreement is defeated, just that the agreement will be sent to the House without the stripped provision.
While Not Part Of The Dispute The Voting Rights Bill Could Also Get Caught In The Crosshairs
With just days to go until the House returns for a brief session, competing Democratic priorities are still threatening to derail the adoption of a budget resolution needed to begin the reconciliation process for enacting the partys economic agenda.
All nine House Democrats who told Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week that they wont vote for the budget unless the House sends the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill to President Joe Bidens desk first are holding firm to that position, the members or their offices told CQ Roll Call.
Pelosi has also remained steadfast in her position that the House needs to hold on to the infrastructure measure until the Senate passes a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package implementing instructions laid out in the budget resolution.;
Dozens of progressive Democrats have said they wont vote for the infrastructure bill without moderates in the House and Senate supporting the reconciliation package, leaving leadership to believe the only way to pass both is to move them together. But moderates think theres enough Republican support on infrastructure;to overcome progressive opposition.;
The House is scheduled to return Monday from its August recess for what leaders hope will be a two-day session to adopt the budget and pass voting rights legislation.;
The 19 Gop Senators Who Voted For The $1t Infrastructure Bill
Nineteen Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison Mitchell McConnell‘Justice for J6’ rally puts GOP in awkward spotRepublicans keep distance from ‘Justice for J6’ rallyHouse to act on debt ceiling next weekMORE , 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 partys 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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How Is It Different From A Regular Bill
Instead of needing 60 votes, a reconciliation bill only needs a simple majority in the Senate.
Reconciliation starts with the congressional budget resolution. The budget cannot be stalled in the Senate by filibuster, and it does not need the Presidents signature.
If the budget calls for reconciliation, it tells certain committees to change spending, revenues, deficits, or the debt limit by specific amounts. Each committee writes a bill to achieve its target, and if more than one committee is told to act, the Budget Committee puts the bills together into one big bill.
That bill has special status in the Senate. Like the budget, it cannot be filibustered, and only needs a simple majority to pass.
Amendments To Reconciliation On The House Floor
The Budget Committee markup of the reconciliation recommendations generally includes non-binding motions offered by the minority to instruct the Committee Chair to ask the Rules Committee to make specific amendments in order on the floor. In addition, any House Member may ask the Rules Committee to allow amendments to the reconciliation package on the House floor. The Rules Committee historically has been receptive to amendments proposed by the Chair of the Budget Committee, which generally reflect leadership views. In the past, the Rules Committee has made the Budget Committee Chairs amendment in order, sometimes incorporating it into the measure through a self-executing rule.
Under the Congressional Budget Act, there is a point of order against amendments that worsen the deficit relative to the underlying bill.All amendments must also be germane to the underlying bill.
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Both Democrats And Republicans Bucked Their Party’s Leaders
The Houses early Friday morning passage of a bill to reopen government after a brief shutdown was not your typical budget deal vote.
Unlike similar measures Congress has passed in recent years to lift sequestration spending caps and suspend the debt ceiling, this one drew a limited amount of Republican opposition and minimal Democratic support.
Typically its just the opposite. A sizable number of House Republicans, usually a third to a half of the conference, would vote against such a deal. And the vast majority of Democrats would normally support it.
But only 29 percent of House Republicans voted against the budget deal Friday that hitched a ride on a six-week stopgap funding measure. And 62 percent of House Democrats voted against it.
I see Republicans producing a bigger number than we have on big agreements traditionally, especially since 2010 taking the majority, Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., said. I feel like this is a bold move, and the difference maker is the White House and the president.
Most Democrats opposing the bill did so because Speaker Paul D. Ryan would not give them a specific commitment to an immigration vote under a rule known as queen of the hill that allows debate on multiple measures with the one getting the most vote above the required simple majority threshold prevailing.
Watch: Ryan: I Dont Want to Risk a Veto On Immigration Bill That Trump Doesnt Support
Senate Passes Infrastructure Bill Moves On To Budget
The bipartisan infrastructure deal first announced in concept by Joe Biden and a group of senators in the Rose Garden on June 24 reached fruition on Thursday morning as the Senate approved the roughly $1.2 trillion package benefiting roads, bridges, broadband, water, and energy needs. The bill passed by a vote of 69-30, with announced opponent of the bill Mike Rounds absent. It became clear that the package would be approved when a final cloture motion to cut off debate passed over the weekend, with even Mitch McConnell voting aye. The Senate Republican leader also voted for final passage of the bill, probably so that he can contrast this bipartisan measure with the highly partisan budget votes just ahead in Congress. All in all, 50 Democrats and 19 Republicans voted aye and 30 Republicans voted no.
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Republicans Vote Against Debt Limit Bill That Would Pay For Budget They Supported
WASHINGTON — A large number of House Republicans voted against raising the nation’s borrowing cap Tuesday, even though they supported a budget in December that required a debt ceiling increase. And an even larger number voted exactly a month ago for the omnibus bill that actually made that spending law.
A total of 201 lawmakers cast votes against allowing the U.S. Treasury Department to borrow more money to pay for the bills that Congress had voted to incur. Of those, 139 had previously voted for the budget bill authored by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan that set spending levels at $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 trillion in 2015. And 143 of them voted for the spending bill that appropriated the funds laid out in that budget.
While a debt ceiling hike with no strings attached was always going to be unpopular among Republicans, by voting against it, many members contradicted their support for the Murray-Ryan budget. The names of those members, including Ryan himself, are below. Reps. John Barrow and Jim Matheson , the only two Democrats who opposed the debt limit bill, also voted for the budget and the appropriations.
Sam Stein contributed reporting.
This article previously misidentified Don Young as a representative from Arkansas. He represents Alaska. It also erroneously listed four congressmen as having voted for the Murray-Ryan budget bill, when in fact they didn’t cast votes on the legislation.
Limitations Of Reconciliation In The Senate The Byrd Rule
Named for Senator Robert Byrd, the Byrd rule was first adopted in the mid-1980s to limit extraneous provisions from inclusion in reconciliation bills. Because reconciliation bills are considered using expedited procedures in the Senate, the Byrd rule is aimed at preventing the use of reconciliation to move a legislative agenda unrelated to spending or taxes, and to some extent it limits Congress ability to use reconciliation to increase deficits at least over the long-term. The Byrd rule prohibits the inclusion of extraneous measures in reconciliation, defining extraneous as follows:
- measures with no budgetary effect ;
- measures that worsen the deficit when a committee has not achieved its reconciliation target;
- measures outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision;
- measures that produce a budgetary effect that is merely incidental to the non-budgetary policy change;
- measures that increase deficits for any fiscal year outside the reconciliation window; and measures that recommend changes in Social
Any Senator may raise a point of order against an extraneous provision in the reconciliation bill, amendments, or the conference agreement. The Senate Parliamentarian decides whether there is a Byrd rule violation, and provisions struck through a Byrd rule point of order cannot be offered later as amendments. However, Byrd rule points of order can be waived by a vote of 60 Senators.
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Without Single Gop Vote Senate Approves $35 Trillion Budget Blueprint
The U.S. Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint with a party-line vote in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a key step toward passage of sprawling legislation that would expand Medicare, establish paid family and medical leave, and make substantial investments in green energy.
The chamber’s approval of the budget framework came after the hours-long spectacle known as “vote-a-rama,” a process during which senators are allowed to offer an unlimited number of largely meaningless, non-binding amendments to the resolution.
“The president and the Democratic caucus are prepared to go forward in addressing the long-neglected needs of working families, and not just the 1% and wealthy campaign contributors.”Sen. Bernie Sanders
Republican senators, who are unanimously opposed to Democrats’ $3.5 trillion proposal, seized the opportunity to put forth dozens of messaging amendments denouncing tax hikes on the wealthy, supporting a ban on the teaching of “critical race theory in prekindergarten programs and elementary and secondary schools,” and pushing a $50 billion increase to the already-bloated Pentagon budget.
Democratic senators also introduced amendments to the resolution. Sen. Ron Wyden , chair of the Senate Finance Committee, offered an amendment expressing support for tax increases on the nation’s richest 0.1%. The measure failed after Sens. Kyrsten Sinema , Jeanne Shaheen , and Maggie Hassan joined every Republican in voting no.
But Top Democrats Blocked Her In Favor Of Centrist Kathleen Ricewho Voted With Big Pharma Instead
Representative Kathleen Rice delivers remarks during a House hearing.
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When Representative Kathleen Rice was running for reelection from New York last year, the centrist Democrats campaign ads announced that in times of crisis, you see what really drives someone. What drove Rice, the ads declared, was a recognition of the necessity of taking on drug and insurance giants to lower costs.
So when Rice secured a coveted spot this year on the House Energy and Commerce Committeewhich has a big say on how Washington can take on the pharmaceutical industryit was reasonable to assume she would vote for legislation authorizing Medicare to use its immense buying power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. Right?
It was a fateful decision.
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Pennsylvania Senators Will Consider Dui Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients At Hearing
A Pennsylvania Senate committee is set to take up a bill next week that would protect medical marijuana patients from being prosecuted under the states zero tolerance DUI laws.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta , would amend state statute to require proof of active impairment before a registered patient can be prosecuted for driving under the influence. The current lack of specific protections for the states roughly 368,000 patients puts them in legal jeopardy when on the road, supporters say.
Members of the Senate Transportation Committee will explore the issue at a hearing on Tuesday.
The #PASenate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on 9/21 with a focus on my #SB167, which would remove DUI penalties for legal medicinal cannabis use. Details
Bartolotta first introduced an earlier version of the bill in June 2020. She said at the time that the state needs to ensure that the legal use of this medicine does not give rise to a criminal conviction.
Months after the standalone reform legislation was introduced, the Pennsylvania House approved a separate amendment that would enact the policy change.
Bartolottas bill would require officers to prove a registered patient was actually impaired on the road.
Fetterman has also been actively involved in encouraging the governor to exercise his clemency power for cannabis cases while the legislature moves to advance reform.
Sweeping Budget Deal Passes House Despite Weak Gop Support
Trump had pushed House Republicans to back the bill, but most opposed it.
The House with limited Republican supportpassed a massive budget deal Thursday that would free lawmakers to hit the campaign trail next year without fretting about fiscal turmoil keeping them tied down in Washington.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi who hammered out the deal during weeks of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flexed her political muscle and rounded up 219 Democratic votes for the measure, an impressive display that more than offset the lack of Republican support.
GOP leaders despite a boost from President Donald Trump scrambled to round up Republican backing in the hours before the House passed the two-year, $2.7 trillion agreement on a 284-149 vote. The deal is expected to clear the Senate next week.
Only 65 out of 197 House Republicans ended up voting for the measure, rejecting the pleas from Trump and their own leadership. Democrats noticed.
“I wanted it to be very clear, the unity of the Democrats, what we did there,” Pelosi told reporters after the vote. “It would have been nice to have more votes on their side. It was hard to tell Democrats to vote for an agreement which is negotiated and is a compromise when it is so one-sided on the vote. But nonetheless, they supported what we did.”
If the two parties had not struck a deal, $126 billion in sequestration cuts would set in come January, ravaging every discretionary account in the federal government.
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Top Law Enforcement Officials Including A Biden Nominee Urge Scotus To Hear Safe Injection Drug Case
A coalition of 80 current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officialsincluding one who is President Joe Bidens pick for U.S. attorney of Massachusettshave filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to take up a case on the legality of establishing a safe injection facility where people can use illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment.
The nonprofit organization Safehouse was set to launch a safe consumption site in Philadelphia before being blocked by a legal challenge from the Trump administration, and it filed a petition with the nations highest court last month to hear the case. Now the group of law enforcement officials associated with Fair and Just Prosecution are calling on the Supreme Court to act in an amicus brief.
Amici have an interest in this litigation because overdose prevention sites are among the harm reduction and public health interventions that have proven effective in preventing fatal overdoses and diverting people from unnecessary and counterproductive interactions with the justice system, they wrote. Amici, many of whom are currently or were previously responsible for enforcing the nations drug laws, also believe that the Controlled Substances Act cannot be construed to prohibit operation of a facility designed to address the most acute aspects of this public health emergency.
The organization put the gravity of the case in no uncertain terms, painting a picture of how its proposed facility can save lives.
Globe Republican David Cook Votes Against Flat
By: Jeremy Duda– June 7, 2021 1:14 pm
Rep. David Cook speaking with supporters of Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in 2016. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
House Republicans latest effort to force through a budget fell short again as GOP Rep. David Cook continued his opposition over a massive income tax cut package, voting with his Democratic colleagues to sink the plan.
GOP leadership scheduled a vote for Monday on the budget and a slew of amendments intended to shore up support among a handful of holdouts, essentially daring Republicans to vote against it. Among the changes was an adjustment to the formula used to distribute state income tax revenue to cities and towns, which would partially offset the municipal revenue loss anticipated from the income tax cuts negotiated by House leadership and Gov. Doug Ducey.
The change, however, wasnt enough to win over Cook, who has argued that the small cities in his largely rural district cant afford the revenue losses theyll incur from the tax cut. Arizona cities are barred from enacting local income taxes, so the state instead shares a portion of its income taxes. The League of Arizona Cities and towns estimates that the proposed income tax cuts will reduce the amount sent to cities by 31%, and will result in cuts to city services and public safety.
Mr. Cook, lots of things bother me. Cutting taxes isnt one of them, Toma said.
I think were about to find out, Toma shot back.
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