Senate Parliamentarian Allows Democrats to Bypass Republican Filibuster on Two Bills

Headline Roundup April 5th, 2021

On Monday, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Democrats can pass two more bills without Republican support by using the budget reconciliation process once again this fiscal year. This allows Democrats to pass two budget-related bills with a simple majority instead of the usual 60-vote threshold requirement. Democrats have already passed two reconciliation bills, with one focused on fiscal year 2021 and one focused on fiscal year 2022. The decision comes from MacDonough’s interpretation of Section 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which states lawmakers may revise a budget resolution before the end of the fiscal year that it covers. The ruling now allows Democrats to edit the 2021 budget resolution they already passed, and include instructions for another bill. A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that “no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward using Section 304 and some parameters still need to be worked out.”While details of Democrats' plan for this additional opportunity have yet to be released, many speculate it will be used to approve President Joe Biden's multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan, which is split into two bills.

The story received consistent coverage from across the political spectrum.

Senate Parliamentarian Allows Democrats to Bypass Republican Filibuster on Two Bills

From the Right
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The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that Democrats can pass two more pieces of legislation via budget reconciliation procedures, bypassing a potential filibuster by Republicans.

The ruling allows Democrats to pass two bills with a simple majority instead of the usual 60-vote threshold required in the Senate. Democrats plan to use the budget reconciliation process to approve the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, which is split into two bills. The process was previously used to pass Democrats’ coronavirus relief bill. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced the...

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From the Center
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A new decision from the U.S. Senate's nonpartisan parliamentarian means Democrats could advance more of President Biden's agenda without the support of Republicans.

The official's interpretation of Senate budget rules would allow the use of the reconciliation process more than once in a fiscal year, and it is viewed by Democrats as a possible strategy for moving top policy priorities with a simple majority, since getting the needed 10 Republican votes in a 50-50 Senate has proved difficult.

Details are still unclear as to how Democratic leaders might use the...

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From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Senate Democrats just got some wonky procedural news that has some pretty big implications for President Joe Biden’s agenda.

On Monday night, the Senate parliamentarian — an in-house rules expert — determined that Democrats would be able to do a third budget reconciliation bill this year, a massive development that gives lawmakers more room to pass legislation without Republican support.

Already, Democrats had the ability to do two budget reconciliation bills: one focused on fiscal year 2021 and one focused on fiscal year 2022. Unlike most other bills, budget measures...

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