Parliamentarian gives Democrats potential new tool for reconciliation in early ruling

Ruben Hill
April 6, 2021

But the procedural leeway of using the budget process to make that happen may not be a panacea for the majority party: All 50 Democratic senators will have to go along with the approach, which moderates like Sens.

The ruling is only the first step and Dems haven't made a decision to use reconciliation yet an the Parliamentarian could still potentially rule that individual parts of the bill are out of order if they do.

The Democratic-majority Senate, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, will help to confirm President Joe Biden's nominees and to enact his agenda.

The Senate parliamentarian cleared the way for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to use reconciliation to pass an additional piece of legislation, allowing Democrats to bypass a potential GOP filibuster.

The infrastructure plan - the White House's next major legislative push - has garnered quick pushback from Republicans who have argued it's too expensive and encompasses overly partisan programs. If Democrats choose to reuse that budget measure, they'll have at least three - and possibly more - opportunities to use reconciliation to pass a host of their priorities before the midterm elections.

"The Parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions", Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement Monday.

Both chambers will now need to pass a concurrent resolution to initiate an additional set of reconciliation instructions. (Manchin favors a smaller hike.) Party leaders have not released any legislative text or final details of the policies Biden outlined in his proposal, nor have they said how they would work to ensure that there would be unanimous support among Senate Democrats, something that would be necessary to pass the bill without any Republican support. Without Republican votes, Democrats must rely on lockstep support from within the caucus, which is far from guaranteed. That includes boosting the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, up from 21 percent.

And Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia signaled he would not support any bills with no GOP support, nor would he support ending the filibuster, making the road without budget reconciliation trickier for Democrats.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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