“Nothing in this process prevents him from being bipartisan,” he added. “We welcome bipartisan contributions.”
The budget resolution instructs the committees to round up the pieces of the Biden package by Feb. 16, including $ 1,400 for economic reviews, a $ 400 per week unemployment insurance extension, and $ 350 billion for state and local Aid.
Democrats unveiled the budget resolution ahead of Biden’s Monday night meeting with 10 Senate Republicans who released a $ 618 billion counterproposal to the president’s plan. This GOP proposal would provide stimulus checks for less than $ 1,000 and does not include state or local aid.
Biden and Congressional moderators have pushed for bipartisan negotiations on the next round of support, but Democratic leaders are increasingly skeptical that the president’s plan will get the support of the 10 Republicans needed for the Senate.
House Republican leaders are urging their members to vote down the budget resolution, citing costs and “a liberal wish list of provisions unrelated to the ongoing pandemic”.
Certain parts of Biden’s plan, such as a $ 15 increase in the minimum wage, could violate restrictions allowed under what is known as the Byrd Rule. This requires that the legislation have a significant impact on federal spending, revenue or debt, which must be taken into account in the reconciliation process.
The progressives are pushing for the Democrats to seek sweeping policy changes as part of the reconciliation, arguing that the Republicans have previously done the same, using the budgetary tool to pass key GOP priorities like the 2017 tax overhaul. To achieve an increase in the federal minimum wage, Democrats would either have to ensure that policies are written under reconciliation or override a Senate parliamentary decision.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) complained that defeating Parliament would be a “back door” method of eliminating legislative filibuster.
While Congress was already funding the government for the current fiscal year, the Democrats technically never passed a budget resolution for fiscal 2021 containing instructions on how to start reconciliation.
Democrats could also re-enable reconciliation through a budget resolution for the budget year 2022 in order to pass further economic stimuli or laws on measures such as infrastructure, health care and climate change.