Senate Majority Leader
“In keeping our options open, on our caucus call today I informed senators to be prepared that a vote on a budget resolution could come as early as next week,” Schumer said at a press briefing Tuesday. “We have to see what they say in the next few days,” he said of the Republicans.
A budget resolution is the first step toward a so-called reconciliation bill, which allows the Senate to proceed on a simple-majority vote basis -- avoiding the need for 60 votes to cut off the filibuster. It makes all the difference given the chamber’s partisan 50-50 split.
The catch, however, is that not all of Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan is likely to
Stimulus checks and jobless benefits, two major components, would be in. Aid for state and local governments would face a high hurdle.
Schumer noted that some GOP senators could potentially get on board with the reconciliation route. Even so, none has so far come out with an outright endorsement of the Biden plan.
“We’re facing a national emergency with Covid-19 and the economy -- we’ve got to move quickly,” said
A bipartisan alternative isn’t quite dead yet. White House economic adviser
That caucus agreed there’s a need for a targeted relief package, according to an aide familiar with its discussion with Deese. The members prefer moving legislation on a bipartisan basis -- rather than pushing through via reconciliation on Democratic votes-alone, the aide said.
A separate group of 16 Republican and Democratic senators -- including Durbin -- is also discussing a counterproposal to Biden’s $1.9 trillion package. GOP Senator
If it is targeted, the bill could come together in “short order,” Young said.
The administration continues to provide the bipartisan group details on the basis of its calculation for the need of $1.9 trillion -- an amount that moderate Republicans said was excessive given that the Congress just passed a $900 billion bill last month.
Congressional Democrats are moving ahead on the reconciliation option. House Budget Committee Chairman
The process in the Senate involves a floor “vote-a-rama” where hundreds of amendments can be offered to the budget for simple majority votes. Those can take days to resolve.
Once a concurrent budget resolution with reconciliation instructions is adopted, committees would then need to draft legislation adhering to the outline. That legislation would then need to pass both the House and the Senate, be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and survive any rules challenges in the Senate. The second process would likely take weeks.
The administrations of
One option for Democrats would be to divide the Biden program into parts, with the more contentious items proceeding via reconciliation. Republicans have voiced support for additional spending for vaccines, which could open a path toward enactment through the regular procedure.
“Biden may need to divide his agenda into regular order and the reconciliation process depending on the policy mix,” UBS Group AG economists including
(Updates with Problem Solvers discussion in ninth paragraph.)
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.