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This is huge! By being granted up to

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Jlane3965   Tuesday, 04/06/21 07:13:10 AM
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Post # of 16650 
This is huge! By being granted up to 5 more bills that can be passed without a super majority (republicans) by budget reconciliation, they can now justify decriminalization with its impact on cannabis sales tax collection for the budget. Here it comes!

Senate official gives Democrats tool to bypass filibuster on certain bills. Here's what it means.

SAVANNAH BEHRMANN | USA TODAY | 53 minutes ago


A Senate filibuster may kill Biden's agenda, stirring calls to end the controversial tactic. Here's how a filibuster works and its history, explained.
JUST THE FAQS, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – A key Senate official ruled Monday that Democrats can use a budget process to push pivotal bills, like infrastructure, through the gridlocked chamber, according Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's, D-N.Y., office.


The opinion increases the number of ways Democrats can advance their agenda, like President Joe Biden's sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Republicans have criticized the proposal from the start, with conservatives panning it as going too far beyond traditional infrastructure spending and comparing its climate measures to the Green New Deal.

More: Biden is pitching a big infrastructure plan, but Republicans already panned it as going too far


Reaching 60 votes in the Senate looked grim looked from the starting line: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said last week he would fight the plan, suggesting from the onset there would be no Republican support.

But the process — budget reconciliation — would allow Democrats to skip major procedural roadblocks, like getting 60 votes, on items related to the budget like the infrastructure bill, the next piece of Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda.

Under this process, with the Senate being tied 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris would be able to break a tie and pass the legislation.

More: How does Biden plan to get infrastructure plan through Congress?

Usually, the Senate needs 60 votes to surpass a filibuster, meaning 10 Republicans would need to join every Democrat, and the independents who caucus with Democrats, to pass legislation if it is related to taxing and spending.


A spokesman for Schumer said Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough "has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions."

Simply put, this allows Democrats to bypass the filibuster and use reconciliation once more in fiscal year 2021 – and several more times next year.


The White House is comparing President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal to the construction of interstate highways and the Space Race.
STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY
Senators usually use just one opportunity to pass a budget resolution for fiscal year. But MacDonough's ruling means Democrats can amend the budget resolution used recently for the COVID stimulus bill by attaching another set of reconciliation instructions to it.

More: Joe Biden wants to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure and jobs. These 4 charts show where the money would go.


"This confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues," Schumer's spokesman continued.

He stressed "no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward"and "some parameters still need to be worked out," but "the Parliamentarian’s opinion is an important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed.”

More: Biden is pitching a big infrastructure plan, but Republicans already panned it as going too far

Schumer aides had been discussing with MacDonough for weeks about whether they could use the 2021 budget resolution again. Congress used budget reconciliation to pass Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March without any Republican votes.


It is unclear what Schumer will do about the infrastructure bill and the next half of Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, which is coming later this month.

But budget reconciliation allows Schumer to maximize options for passingBiden’s "Build Back Better" agenda if Republicans attempt to block legislation or "water down a bipartisan agreement," aides said last week.

McConnell declared plainly on Monday that Biden’s infrastructure plan is “something we’re not going to do.”

Speaking to reporters in Kentucky, McConnell said Republicans could support a “much more modest” approach, and one that doesn’t rely on corporate tax hikes to pay for it.


A core dividing line is Biden’s effort to pay for infrastructure by undoing former President Donald Trump’s tax break for corporations, a signature achievement of the Trump White House and its partners in Congress.

A single senator breaking ranks can influence the size of the package: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said Monday the current legislation needs "to be changed," especially in regard to the increase in corporate tax rate.

He will be a pivotal vote for a simple majority vote in the divided Senate.

There may be constraints on what can be in legislation passed by budget reconciliation.

For example, backers of a push to raise the federal hourly minimum wage to $15 suffered a key loss in February after MacDonough ruled the measure could not be considered part of Biden's COVID relief package.

More: $15 minimum wage increase can't go in COVID relief legislation, Senate official rules

Reconciliation can also turn into a grueling process in which any senator can force a vote on an amendment.


These "vote-a-ramas" can go on for hours, requiring senators to be on the Senate floor. During the passage of the American Rescue Plan, one lasted nearly 24 hours.

Contributing: The Associated Press; Joey Garrison, USA TODAY

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/7099656002

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