The Democrats are gearing up to use the “special process” in the Senate – that helps Senators get around working with each other to better the American people – called budget reconciliation. Republicans weren’t invited to be apart of the other two spending bills jammed down the taxpayer’s throat, and the Democrat leadership in the Senate sees no reason why a little thing like parliamentary rules should get in their way.
According to the House Committee on the Budget’s website, “instead of needing 60 votes, a reconciliation bill only needs a simple majority in the Senate,” which is exactly what the Democrats have. “Reconciliation starts with the congressional budget resolution,” the information reads, “the budget cannot be stalled in the Senate by filibuster, and it does not need the President’s signature.”
More on budget reconciliation: “If the budget calls for reconciliation, it tells certain committees to change spending, revenues, or deficits by specific amounts. Each committee writes a bill to achieve its target, and if more than one committee is told to act, the Budget Committee puts the bills together into one big bill. That bill has a special status in the Senate. Like the budget, it cannot be filibustered and only needs a simple majority to pass.”
The Democrats argued “to the Senate parliamentarian, a nonpartisan referee, that Section 304 of the Congressional Budget Act allows Democrats to pass at least a third bill this year using a simple majority, an aide for the New York Democrat told Fox News.” The report explains that “the experts” on Capitol Hill only gave the Democrats one more time to use budget reconciliation as there are limits on what legislation qualifies to be considered under this process.
The report states, “Schumer aides believe that Section 304 could give them the power to pass legislation using reconciliation for a third time this year, even though the process is only technically allowed to be used once every fiscal year, pointing to language that says “the two Houses may adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget which revises or reaffirms the concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year most recently agreed to.”
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Schumer wants to enact all of Joe Biden’s policies in quick fashion. The will of the American people is actively thwarted again by bypassing bipartisan negotiation for a chance at one-party rule. The report doesn’t indicate how many opportunities this would give Senate Democrats to use budget reconciliation in lieu of reaching across the aisle, but it sets a dangerous precedent.
One that was foreshadowed by Sen. Byrd and defended with the adoption of the Byrd rule in the 1980s. Section 313 of the Congressional Budget Act limits the Senate’s ability to include “extraneous provisions” from being included in reconciliation bills.
The idea was simple. Reconciliation bills don’t follow standard parliamentary rules and therefore stifle debate. The will of the American people should be heard. The Byrd rule effectively prohibits the process from being “hijacked” to pass significant legislation – not to do with budget, deficit, or taxes – with only a simple majority.
Schumer’s aid told Fox, “No final decision has been made on the legislative strategy. We are simply arguing that additional reconciliation bills may be considered for [this fiscal year].”
We do have a small safety net in that any Senator may raise a point of order against an extraneous provision in the reconciliation bill. The process would then be turned over to the nonpartisan Senate Parliamentarian to decide whether there is a Byrd rule violation. As I said, it is only a small safety net as any Senator that uses the Byrd rule points of order to stall or stop the reconciliation bill can have their objection if the Democrats have 60.
If the Democrats win the Senate Parliamentarian decision, the next four years will be an assault on everything conservatives hold dear. Trillions and trillions of taxpayer money will be spent on government special interest and new ways to fund the worst parts of our American culture.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org