How a Senate rule can help push Biden’s agenda through Congress

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    WASHINGTON – A top Senate official said hours after notifying Democrats that he might have more potential to use a complex budget maneuver to push through his agenda without his Republican votes. , Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont was on television outlining the breadth of independent, liberal ambitions. .

    Democrats aim to implement President Biden’s plan to change the nation’s infrastructure, he said, providing paid family and medical leave and potentially expanding health care, including Medicare.

    Appearance by Mr. Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, reflects high hopes that Democrats feel a new decision by the Chamber’s MP will open more avenues for them to pursue a wider range of priorities through Congress . Minorities with uncertainty.

    “The devil is in the details, and we don’t know the details yet – it should be negotiated, and better understood,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview on Tuesday. “It gives us the possibility to move forward with more than one piece of legislation, and it is clearly beneficial to what we are trying to do.”

    It may be all too easy for the MP’s opinion released on Monday that the budget resolution passed in February could be reopened to include at least one more round of reconciliation, which governs taxes and spending Allows measures to protect against filmbusters. This may give Democrats more opportunities to move around Republican opposition and through major budgetary legislation.

    The process has been fraught with challenges, including stricter rules that may be involved, and Democrats still have to muster up to 50 votes for any resolution, a tall order for some of their more thought.

    But the newfound levee may eventually ease the way for some of his most ambitious efforts. This could allow him to break some of Mr. Biden’s proposals, including his two-part infrastructure plan, which both reflects the ailing public work system and the economic disparities facing the nation’s workforce with smaller, more synergistic Can be addressed in pieces.

    Activists have urged Mr. Biden to consider more remote possibilities, such as using reconciliation to provide a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrant immigrants living in the United States, including farmworkers, essential workers, and those children Included are those known in the country. As dreamers.

    It is unclear when and how Democrats can take advantage of the ruling. But there is increasing pressure for him as to what the ruling party can do to control both the Congressional Chamber and the White House.

    In an interview on Tuesday, Majority Leader, New York Senator Chuck Shumer said the decision was “an important step, and it adds an extra arrow to our quiver.” But he declined to disclose how his legislative strategy, including the passing of a massive public-works plan issued last week, would actually impact his legislative strategy.

    “We’ll meet as a caucus and discuss things – as we always do – about the best place to use it,” he said.

    MP Elizabeth McDonough’s initial guidance suggests Mr Biden and his congressional colleagues have at least one more chance to use the reconciliation process before the fiscal year ends on September 30, as well as the next financial Get more opportunities in the year. . Ms. McDonough told lawmakers Monday evening that Senate rules allow amendments to the budget plan they used to pass the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus law, which gives them another round of fast-track cohesion process to the new elements. Will be able to add under. Mr. Schumer.

    Details of the ruling have not been made public, and Mr. Schumer and top Democratic staff members will likely return to Ms. McDonough with additional questions about how to proceed.

    But so far, his decision has upset some activists, who have pushed for Mr. Biden and the Democrats to be more aggressive about exercising their power through major policy changes. They are likely to step up pressure on the White House and use the newfound tool in the coming weeks.

    Most immediately, Democrats believe the ruling could provide additional flexibility to Mr. Biden’s plans to win $ 4 trillion in new economic investment – including rebuilding the electric grid, fighting climate change, reducing poverty and millions Helping women work involves earning more. .

    Since Mr. Biden won the White House, his advisers have been consumed with contingency plans to get their agenda through Congress, with billions of dollars of the new government’s trillions short of tax increases on corporations and the rich Costs less than When Democrats won a pair of Georgia runoff elections in January that gave them Senate control, reconciliation became the focal point of many of those plans.

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    Credit …Amrit Alfiki / The New York Times

    This would be one way Biden allies would be concerned that they would be stuck in opposition to Republicans seeking aid to the epidemic, which they believed would carry their long-term economic agenda of spending on roads, bridges, water pipes, clean a vehicle. Energy, child care, education and more.

    But the administration has seen for the first time that this process will not work for all her priorities: Ms. McDonough made a provision to remove the federal minimum wage from Mr. Biden’s relief package because she considered it in violation of budget rules. Activists argue that legalizing some unauthorized immigrants will affect the budget for the benefit of the government and to raise tax revenue, but it is unclear whether the lawmaker will allow it as part of a reconciliation measure.

    Both Mr. Schumer and Mr. Sanders emphasized that they did not commit to a particular strategy for the reuse of reconciliation. Determining how Democrats prioritize and sequence their legislative priorities, Mr. Sanders said, “is a difficult issue that we fight every day.”

    White House officials publicly and privately insist that Mr. Biden is committed to pursuing a bipartisan agreement with Republicans on his infrastructure plan. Business groups are also eager to strike a deal on the issue, though he and Republicans have expressed strong opposition to Mr. Biden’s proposed tax increase.

    White House press secretary, Jane Saki, told reporters on Tuesday that Mr Biden believed the “bipartisan path is ahead”. But he left the door open to move the bill through a more partisan process.

    “As you know, reconciliation is a mechanism in Congress to pass budgetary bills,” she said. “We will leave the determination of Tantra and Tantra to the leaders in Congress. But right now, less than a week after announcing the American Jobs Plan, our focus is on inviting members to the White House next week, along with Democrats and Republicans, with staff, with committee staff. “

    Lobists and congressional staff members say they hope Mr Biden will ask the Senate to give a short window to form a bipartisan consensus about the plan – and to move quickly if there is any such deal for. Ms Psy suggested on Tuesday that Mr Biden wanted to see a quick start to work on Capitol Hill.

    “He would like to see progress by May,” he said, “and certainly a package through the summer. “

    Personally, some administration officials emphasize Mr. Biden’s difficulty of passing any agenda items without resorting to reconciliation. To clean up a Senate filibuster, any agreement would need to attract at least 10 Republican votes. A group of that size negotiated with Mr. Biden on its funding package, with Mr. Biden proposing $ 1.9 trillion. Republicans countered with a proposal of $ 600 billion, which the Democrats quickly dismissed as inadequate.

    Mr. instead. Biden went ahead with his plan, steering around Republican opposition to pass the $ 1.9 trillion bill through reconciliation.

    Michael D. Shear Contributed to reporting.

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