TheElizabeth MacDonough, has advised that a revised budget resolution that includes a massive $2 Trillion infrastructure bill, can include reconciliation instructions. With this development, a path has been cleared for Democrats to pass this new spending legislation by a simple majority vote. Reconciliation is a parliamentary procedure to bypass the standard requirement for the passage of legislation, and was already used once this year to pass President Biden's .
Justin Goodman, the spokesman for Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, called the parliamentarian's decision an "important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed."
"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," the spokesman for Schumer added. "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."
This controversial ruling allows Democrats to use reconciliation to pass Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure legislation. Although budget reconciliation can usually only be used once per year, Schumer asked the parliamentarian for a revision of the current budget resolution to enable another usage of the reconciliation process for passage of the current infrastructure package being pushed in congress.
Although the process towards passage has been been eased, Moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) told a radio host recently that he opposes the 28% corporate tax hike President Biden has pitched to pay for the massive infrastructure bill. Manchin indicated that he may exercise his power in the 50-50 Senate.
"If I don't vote to get on it, it's not going anywhere," Manchin stated. "As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed."
Brief History of Budget Reconciliation
Budget reconciliation was enacted via the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, and allows for the expedited passage of certain spending, tax, and debt limit legislation.
Congress has used budget reconciliation 21 times since 1980, which was the first year they employed the process. Lawmakers approved four other attempts but the sitting President exercised his veto power.