WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has a powerful new toolkit with new options President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package և 50-50 divided’s previous chances of obstructing Republicans in the Senate.
Republicans still promise to do their best to stop Biden, but this week the opinion of official lawmakers is likely to change the game. For Democrats, it puts forward many options for moving parts of Biden’s agenda, including immigration և to advance Medicare legislation, with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate, rather than 60 key requirements to move legislation.
There has been talk of trying to change the rules of the Philippines, but it will be a very difficult political upheaval in the divided Senate’s tradition.
The White House sympathized with the parliamentary decision, but did not refuse the support of some Republicans, despite their strong opposition to paying for most of the infrastructure program by raising corporate taxes. The president, said spokesman Psaki, “continues to believe … that there is a two-way street ahead.”
However, it is clear that deep partisanship in Washington has led to a new era of legislation. At Capitol Hill, the signals of seasonal politics dig deep into the procedural tools to find a way to close the gap that usually leaves Congress deadlocked.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell slammed Biden for his partisanship, announcing on Tuesday that he would not support the $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package that Biden wants to pay for corporate tax cuts.
“I have not seen that for a president who was nominated as a bipartisan,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky.
McConnell said Biden was “a terrible person I know well, I like him. We have been friends for years. He was not moderate. “
Although Democrats in Congress planned to push for a “budget reconciliation,” Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion package of special budget procedures, with a 51-vote threshold, allowed the lawmaker to use it for some other priorities. ,
Negotiations revolve around immigration overhaul, which for some could pave the way for citizenship. There are also discussions on using the process of lowering the Medicare retirement age from 65 to 60 այլ Other items on the agenda.
According to Schumer’s office, no decision has been made. Any action still involves the consensus of all 50 senators in the Democratic group, the progressive centrists, which can be intimidating. But Speaker Just Astin Goodman hailed the parliamentary opinion as “a possible step forward to make this possible path available to Democrats”.
The use of budget rules to pass comprehensive party voting legislation is not new. Last month, Congress used the budget reconciliation process to approve Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout, despite Republican support.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, first used in 1980, the process has been used for years.
In 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress approved budget cuts in the Trump-era GOP during a vote on the party line through budget reconciliation. In 2010, Democrats used it for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Bush has twice relied on reconciliation to approve tax cuts, including once when Vice President Dick Cheney voted in a draw.
But the opinion of non-partisan Senate MP Elizabeth McDonough late Monday evening means that the process could be used many times this year, rather than just two or three times as expected.
Usually, Congress has each budget decision in each fiscal year, or on October 2, each calendar year since the beginning of the fiscal year. The parliamentarian announced that if the annual budget resolution is revised, the process can be used again.
For Biden, it’s a quicker path to certain priorities than spoiling the Senate filibuster, a long-standing practice that some senators, critics say, are throwing away the segregation used by segregationists to block civil rights legislation.
Philibaster allows any senator to challenge legislation or other issues, և usually it can only be overcome by a threshold of 60 votes, now in an evenly divided chamber.
In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats have a majority, as the party’s vice-president Kamala Harris can vote in favor of a draw.
While Senator F. Merkel, D-Ore, and other leading progressives are in favor of changing the rules, more centrist Democrats, including West and Manchin, West Virginia, are not.
Using budget reconciliation can provide short-term correction, but it is not without its drawbacks. It involves a difficult process, sometimes the Senate overnight sessions, called “vote-a-Rama” as senators propose many changes.
Moreover, budget tools have other limits, as the proposals must comply with the budget guidelines, which means that not all bills qualify.
Earlier this year, lawmakers rejected a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour as part of the COVID-19 package because it did not meet budget guidelines.
Voting rights, gun violence bills, and other legislation are likely to meet such limits.
Those seeking changes to the filibuster rules welcomed the budget tool, but said changes to the filibuster practice were still needed.
“It’s great that Senate Democrats will be able to overcome their economic dominance with a simple economic majority,” said Fell our Senate, an up-and-coming group that advocates for changes to the Philippers.
But he said that “it will almost not be enough if the material remains a tool.”
Associated Press writer Jon Onathan Lemir contributed to this report.