Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, said in a statement Monday that Democrats are running partisan legislation through Congress with reconciliation despite President Joe Biden’s rhetoric about “unity.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Monday night that the Senate parliamentarian said a revised budget resolution could contain budget reconciliation instructions. This would allow for Democrats to pass another bill, such as an infrastructure bill, through the Senate with only a simple majority.
Democrats passed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill through the Senate 50-49 in March. Biden, Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hope to pass their infrastructure package through Congress using budgetary reconciliation.
Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act using budgetary reconciliation and tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) using the parliamentary procedure.
Schumer said in a statement Monday:
The Parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions. 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.
While no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward using Section 304 and some parameters still need to be worked out, the Parliamentarian’s opinion is an important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed.
Smith said Schumer’s move to pass multiple bills through budgetary reconciliation means that Democrats only want to focus on passing their divisive agenda:
To be clear, it is Leader Schumer’s request not the Senate Parliamentarian’s response that should concern Americans. With every day it becomes more and more obvious that all of President Biden’s talk about unity was just that, talk. Washington Democrats have made it abundantly clear that their one priority is jamming through a radical, partisan agenda to exert greater command and control over the lives and livelihoods of the American people.
He added, “And they want to do so with as little debate as possible because the biggest threat to their success is transparency and scrutiny.”