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August 24, 2021

Budget resolution cleared by House, paving way for reconciliation

The House 220-212 August 24 adopted the Senate-passed FY2022 budget resolution as part of the vote on the rule on consideration of the infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation. The rule calls for a House vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill by September 27. Approval of the budget resolution with reconciliation instructions paves the way for a potentially $3.5 trillion package of Democratic priorities addressing "human infrastructure," paid for in part by tax increases, to pass the Senate with a simple majority vote, but likely not before fall.

Adopting the budget resolution as part of the rule for consideration of the other measures helped gain the support of House moderates, who were pushing for a vote on the infrastructure bill immediately. Progressives have long insisted that the follow-on reconciliation bill of as much as $3.5 trillion in Democratic priorities on health, climate, caregiving, and education be passed before a House vote on the infrastructure bill, an approach that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has backed.

Negotiations on a rule that could win the support of a requisite amount of moderate Democrats — there had been 10 members insisting on the infrastructure bill vote — continued past midnight and into this morning, after more than a week of posturing over the timing and order of the infrastructure and budget resolution votes. The House had been in recess since August 1 but were brought back to clear the budget resolution.

The FY2022 budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions to various committees to report provisions under their jurisdictions by September 15, though there is no penalty for missing the deadline. House approval of the resolution allows the reconciliation process to continue, though there is no sense of how quickly it will move. A major issue is settling on the size of the reconciliation bill, given that Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have said they will not support a bill as large as $3.5 trillion.


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