Senate Democrats will begin to use budget reconciliation this week which could allow them to push through major bills like infrastructure without any Republican support.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he will meet with the 11 Democratic members of the Senate Budget committee on Wednesday to start the process for a budget resolution which could allow passing the pending major infrastructure bill with a party-line vote, The Hill reported Tuesday.
“Tomorrow I’m convening a meeting with all 11 Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee regarding a fiscal year ‘22 budget resolution,” Schumer said. “Now that President Biden’s fiscal ‘22 budget request has been received by Congress, the Budget Committee can begin the important work of producing a budget resolution.”
According to the House Committee on the Budget’s website, reconciliation is a “special process” that makes legislation easier to pass in the Senate.
Instead of the 60 votes needed on a bill to avoid a filibuster, a simple majority vote of 51 can pass the legislation.
Currently the Senate is evenly split along party lines 50-50, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie breaking vote.
According to the website, reconciliation can only be used on bills that change spending or revenues.
It also limits the time a bill can be debated and the types of amendments that can be offered.
The process has been used by both parties in the past to push legislation through Congress.
It could be used, Schumer said in the Hill’s article, to pass elements of the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
“As you know, a budget resolution will outline how we go forward and includes issues that are affecting, that are part of reconciliation,” he said.
This comes as talks between Republicans and Democrats on the infrastructure bill have all but ended as both sides debate the meaning of the term “infrastructure.”
The Democrats bill takes a broader definition and includes childcare and medical care among areas to spend on where Republicans are only supporting physical items such as roads, bridges, and tunnels.
Schumer said he plans on bringing a “scaled-down” version of the infrastructure bill to the Senate floor during regular business sometime in July, but with the reconciliation also underway at the same time, it could pass with just Democratic support in August.
“Both are moving forward, the bipartisan track and the track on reconciliation, and both we hope to get done in July, both the budget resolution and the bipartisan bill,” Schumer said.
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