Democrats Get Boost With New Senate Parliamentarian Ruling : NPR

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., speaks to the media on March 25. Jonathan Ernst / Pool / Getty Images hide the caption

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Jonathan Ernst / Pool / Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., speaks to the media on March 25.

Jonathan Ernst / Pool / Getty Images

A new decision by the bipartisan US Senate Parliamentarians means that without Republican support, Democrats could push more of President Biden’s agenda.

The official’s interpretation of the Senate’s budget rules would include the use of the Reconciliation process more than once in a fiscal year, and it is seen by Democrats as a possible strategy for simple majority voting on major political priorities as it has proven difficult to get the required 10 Republican votes in a 50:50 Senate to obtain.

Details are still unclear how democratic leaders could seize the additional opportunity to pass budget-related guidelines.

“The MP has indicated that a revised budget resolution could include instructions on how to vote on the budget,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said in a statement Monday. “Admittedly, no decisions have yet been taken on a legislative path Section 304 and some parameters have yet to be worked out. The MP’s opinion is an important step forward that this key path is available to Democrats when needed. “

The Democrats were vague about these additional parameters and the possible constraints that could be attached to this legislative path. The ruling appears to mean that a majority party could revise budgets more than once in a fiscal year – every time they get access to reconciliation instructions.

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In numbers: Biden's $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan

The decision comes when the Biden Democrats lay down more than $ 2 trillion Infrastructure proposalthat he revealed last week.

Some moderate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia have resisted their plan to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. (Some people advocate a smaller hike.) The party leaders have not released any legislative text or final details of Biden’s policies outlined in his proposal, nor have they said how they would ensure that Senate Democrats were unanimously supported if necessary to get the bill to say goodbye without Republican support.

The MP’s decision could allow Democrats to break down large packages like Biden’s infrastructure plan into smaller pieces. This could potentially make it easier to get elements of the broader agenda off the ground by tricking Republicans into backing some of their policies.

However, using reconciliation also limits what items can be included in an invoice. Earlier this year the parliamentarians ruled that an increase in the federal minimum wage did not fit into the rules.


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