Senate Adopts $ 3.5 Trillion Funds Decision | Brownstein Hyatt Farber fright

On Wednesday morning, the Senate passed a budget resolution of $ 3.5 trillion along party lines 50-49. The resolution contains key budget directions for the House and Senate committees to develop guidelines for the $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation package that will carry many of the Biden administration’s “human infrastructure” priorities.

The Senate’s approval of the budget decision comes two days after the Senate Democrats publish the text, a summary document, and a memorandum to Senators related to the measure. A link to the Brownstein Summary and Analysis can be found here.


Before the entire Senate could approve the budget resolution, the chamber carried out a lengthy process called “vote-a-rama”, in which the legislature had the opportunity to offer an unlimited number of amendments to the resolution. Of the more than 1,000 amendments tabled, 46 received a vote and only 28 were adopted.

Brownstein’s comprehensive review of the Vote-a-rama, including the discussion, can be found here.

Many amendments were supported almost unanimously, including those relating to the protection of farmers and ranchers from changes in tax law related to property transfers; Preventing tax increases that would violate President Joe Biden’s promise not to raise taxes for those earning less than $ 400,000; Promoting US competitiveness, research and development; Prohibition of using federal funds to purchase critical minerals that are mined through forced labor; Support the use of technologies for carbon capture, use and sequestration and the provision of internet services for Cuba.

On some other amendments, moderate Democrats – namely Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) – joined the Republicans. These typically related to social problems or climate change. For example, a Democrat worked with Republicans to pass an amendment that requires electric vehicle tax credits to be means-tested to ensure high-income people don’t get government subsidies to buy expensive luxury vehicles.

looking ahead

After the Senate has approved the budget resolution, it is now going to the House of Representatives, which is expected to convene again in the week of August 23, to review the measure, according to a letter from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) dated Tuesday. . While the House of Representatives and the Senate have to pass the same budget resolution in order to propose a law of reconciliation for voting in both chambers, the House and Senate committee staff are already conducting discussions and drafting legislative texts. The committees were asked to report their stakes to the House and Senate budget committees by September 15, a non-binding target date.

Brownstein has broken down the various steps in the budget reconciliation process here.

The timetable for the adoption of the budget resolution is starting to take shape in the House. However, some members of the House have also requested that the Chamber consider the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the week of 23 August, without threatening to withhold their votes for the budgetary decision. Progressives, on the other hand, have hinted that they could withhold their vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate works out a budget reconciliation package that matches their political goals.

With just a Democratic majority of three seats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly stated that the Chamber will not consider the bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate has passed a reconciliation law. However, she did not say so directly in her statement following the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law. In addition, the Chairman of the House Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-OR), has ended his call for a conference with the Senate, indicating that he will seek additional infrastructure funding under the Reconciliation Act.

The speed and likelihood of passage depends on several factors. In addition to competing priorities between moderate and progressive Democrats, Congress has other laws to pass by the end of the September deadlines, including raising the debt ceiling and budget allocations for FY22, which require both speaking time and political capital.