By Humberto Sanchez/The Nevada Independent
House Democrats approved their budget plan Tuesday after negotiating a deal with 10 moderates who threatened to kill the measure by withholding support until the House passed the Senate’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package.
The budget vote, 220 to 212, triggers the reconciliation process, allowing committees of jurisdiction to begin drafting a $3.5 trillion package that can pass the Senate with a simple majority, rather than with the 60 votes typically needed to overcome a filibuster.
The reconciliation package will include an extension of the child tax credit, paid family leave, and other pieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda that Republicans were unlikely to support, as opposed to the funds for roads, bridges, airports and broadband in the $1.2 trillion package. The Senate passed the measure and the budget resolution on Aug. 9.
Despite the legislative victory, tough negotiations lie ahead for Democrats. They control 50 votes in the Senate and will need all of them to pass their agenda. But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) said that $3.5 trillion is too much to spend for the reconciliation package. Their desire for fiscal discipline will clash with other Democrats’ desires, in both chambers, to spend the full amount called for in the resolution.
Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), who, as a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee, will help write the reconciliation package, declined to say whether he thinks $3.5 trillion is the right amount.
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