Democrats’ Build Back Better Bill Hinges On Senate Parliamentarian

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Provisions related to immigration, climate and prescription drugs are in danger of being removed after a review by Senate regulation.

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Joe Munchkin is not the only person in the senate who has power Joe BidenLegislative agenda.

The fate of key provisions included in the Build Back Better bill also rests with a Senate MP – the officer in charge of advising senators on rules and procedures.

This week, lawmakers and committee staff are meeting with lawmakers behind closed doors to ensure that the law complies with vague rules governing the budget reconciliation process, on which Democrats can pass the bill by a simple majority. Trusting to pass. The so-called “bird bath” is named after former West Virginia Sen. Robert Bird, Munchkin’s predecessor, who wrote the bill that established the reconciliation process in the first place.

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Staff from MPs on both sides are expected to present arguments to the MP, who will then make an advisory decision as to whether a certain policy can be included in the bill. The rules only allow for policies that affect the federal budget, such as taxes and spending.

The current MP, Elizabeth McDonough, has served in the position since 2012. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment, which may prolong the process.

Debbie Stabeno (D-Mich.) told reporters Monday, “It’s going to go as fast as it’s capable of, because it’s just a process you have to go through.” “You have to meet the Democrats, meet the Republicans, get together, so it’s just a process.”

Asked how many issues are left for the lawmaker to review, Stabeno said “there is a lot.”

The MP works in a mysterious way. Generally, they do not issue statements to the public explaining their reasoning. His office provides senators with summaries of their decisions which are sometimes leaked to the press.

McDonough has already ruled against Democrats for including a provision in the bill that would have given undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship – a blow to advocates working on behalf of the country’s nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Change in law to clear the way [legal permanent resident] The situation is a forceful and permanent policy change that undermines its budgetary impact,” McDonough said. said In a memorandum to lawmakers in September.

Democrats are now trying to persuade the lawmaker to OK a more narrow proposal – granting some undocumented immigrants temporary protection from deportation for a period of five years. It’s important to get some sort of immigration reform measure into the bill to garner support from House progressives, who will get another vote once the Senate is passed.

Another major Democratic priority included in the bill, the $35 cap on the price of insulin, could face elimination even after potential GOP challenges.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) said earlier this month.

Republicans are also expected to object to some climate parts of the bill, including those that offer tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.

Democrats are hoping to pass the bill before Christmas, but that timeline could slip based on any parliamentary hijinks as well as other pressing business on the Senate’s plate, including funding the government and raising debt limits. Is.

“We continue to meet with MP,” Schumer said in a floor speech Monday. “Once that’s done, it’s time to get the BBB on the floor.”

Meanwhile, Manchin has given no indication that he is on board with a deadline for Schumer’s bill to pass by the end of the year. The West Virginia senator has repeatedly urged his fellow Democrats to take a “strategic pause,” citing rising inflation. This week he added another reason to hit the brakes: concern over the new Omicron version of the coronavirus.

“All these things give you a reason to stop,” Munchkin told reporters on Monday.

But Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), majority whip, says it’s time to “close the deal” on Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending plan that would reduce the cost of childcare, according to Universal Prekindergarten’s. and reduce the cost of prescriptions. Medicines.

“We need Joe Manchin’s vote to pass this,” Durbin said Tuesday during an interview with CNN. “I told him at least a month ago, ‘Joe, you’ve made your mark on this bill. You’ve cut the cost of it dramatically. You also make sure that everything we do is worth it. We pay, so it doesn’t add to the deficit and it’s not inflation. You’ve done these things. Now close the deal.

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