August 25, 2021 | Cole Karr
The U.S. House passed Tuesday, by a 220-212 party line vote, a resolution that adopts the Senate-approved FY2022 budget resolution passed August 11 to officially set the stage for budget reconciliation to pass the President Biden’s $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” package.
Both chambers’ adoption clears a path for Senate Democrats to skirt Republicans to pass the expansive social spending and tax agenda, which includes significant portions of Biden’s proposed American Jobs and Families Plans.
The resolution passed only after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struck a deal with moderate House Democrats who threatened to vote against the budget resolution without action on the infrastructure package, which includes a September 27 deadline for House consideration of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Here is a breakdown of what to expect on the reconciliation measure and infrastructure bill in the coming month or so:
- Development and Passage of Reconciliation Package Components. The budget resolution directs 13 House committees and 12 Senate committees to draft and markup different portions of the reconciliation package. As the package will originate in the House, Senate Democrats will likely work with House Democratic counterparts over the next three weeks (as opposed to drafting their own separate bills) to craft to agreement on a variety of policy and spending items. This consequence of this approach is a likelihood of formal markups of the package’s individual elements to be taken up exclusively in the House. The deadline for the development and markup of each section of the bill is September 15.
- House passage. Once committees have approved their respective elements of the package, the House Budget Committee will bundle each component together into a single, giant legislative package for full House consideration. A vote on the completed bill is expected in the House the week of September 20.
- Senate Passage. The package will be sent to the Senate after the House passes it, where, under the Senate’s rules on reconciliation, only a simple majority is needed.
- Infrastructure package consideration. The budget resolution also requires the House to consider the $1.2 trillion Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Per Pelosi’s agreement with the above-mentioned group of 10 moderate Democrats, the House could pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by September 27.
The September 27 deadline is contingent upon both chambers making significant progress on the budget reconciliation package. Meanwhile, despite House pledges to pass budget reconciliation by late September, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., casted some doubt on the timeline when he stated there is no deadline for passage, noting the House will pass it “when they pass it.”
After the Tuesday’s vote, the House adjourned and returned to its traditional August recess, which is now scheduled to continue well into September. Despite the work outlined above, neither chamber will be back into session for a full legislative week until September 20.
What is budget reconciliation? Read more here.
NSDC will continue to track and share news as it develops. For more information, contact Cole Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.