Democrats omit budget debt limit that launches $ 3.5 billion party spending plan


The Senate is expected to begin voting on the budget as early as Tuesday before it leaves Washington for its August vacation, but the final reconciliation bill is not expected to clear Congress until the fall at the earliest.

The omission of the debt ceiling from the budget measure should facilitate action on this multibillion-dollar plan, as well as bipartite infrastructure bill it is on track for the Senate on Monday or early Tuesday. But this calculated move to procrastinate, as the Biden administration counts down to a national default on U.S. debt, will make life significantly worse for Democrats this fall as they scramble to have votes bypassed. cliff in time.

Democrats want to tie the debt containment measures to a short-term spending bill that would keep government open beyond September 30, meaning Congress will have little time to agree on the two critical issues after returning from August vacation.

In a statement Monday morning, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen offered Democrats cover for not pursuing raising the debt ceiling through reconciliation, stressing that Congress should address the issue “on a bipartisan basis.”

“The vast majority of the debt subject to the debt limit was accumulated before the administration took office,” she said. “This is a shared responsibility, and I urge Congress to come together on a bipartisan basis as it has done in the past to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”

The majority party has been working on this legislative kickoff for months, negotiating the starting total for the $ 3.5 trillion package and removing the challenges that lie ahead, both politically and procedurally. In order to pass the measure and unleash the magic of budget reconciliation, Senate Democrats must first endure an “vote-a-rama” this week, the kind of election campaign that has kept them awake all night long. February and again in March when they have passed. the $ 1.9 trillion pandemic assistance program.

The budget resolution will incorporate the spending cap, as well as a rough framework for what can be included in the final social spending bill that Democrats are trying to enact. But the end product may well fall short of the $ 3.5 trillion allowed by the budget resolution, as moderate Democrats in both chambers stifle the dreams of their more liberal counterparts in the weeks to come.

In an overview of this battle within the party for the highest spending figure, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.A.) publicly confronted with the Democratic Senator. Kyrsten Sinema after the Arizona moderate tweeted late last month that she does not support “a bill that costs $ 3.5 trillion” and “will work in good faith to develop this legislation” in the months to to come.

As Senators now prepare for their third vote-a-rama of the year, Republicans have promised a typical unrestricted amendment process, both to exhaust their Democratic counterparts and force them to tough votes that can be used as fuel for a future campaign. – track attacks. While the amendments during the vote-a-rama are not binding, they often touch on politically symbolic hot spots.

Even though the Senate was already scheduled to adjourn for the August recess – and senators from both parties are exhausted after weeks of wrangling over the bipartite infrastructure billRepublicans want to hurt Democrats for choosing the path of reconciliation instead of negotiating an agreement that at least 10 Republican senators could support.

“Initiating another process of budget reconciliation in a 50-50 Senate is as deliberately partisan and autonomous as possible,” said the Senate Minority Leader. Mitch mcconnell said: “especially in a Senate that continues to prove that we can do bipartisan work.”

While Democrats have said their final $ 3.5 trillion plan will be fully paid off, the budget resolution unveiled on Monday assumes the legislation will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit. The majority party plans to offset a large part of the costs of the final package with a series of tax hikes and savings through policies such as Medicare’s empowerment to negotiate prices with drug companies.

Democratic leaders also argue that the basic policies of the package will lead to long-term economic growth and eventual income increases – the same the “dynamic score” hypothesis that they criticized Republicans for using claim a lower price for the Tax cuts 2017. Many of these assumptions will be ignored by the Congressional Budget Office, however, as programs like universal preschool are not expected to dramatically increase tax inflows for more than a decade.

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