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Capitol Correspondence - 02.02.21

Congressional Democrats Begin Pivot Towards Budget Reconciliation

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As reported by ASAE, the association for association professionals of which ANCOR is a member:

“Congressional Democrats say they are ready to move forward on an expansive COVID-19 stimulus package as soon as [this] week, though many of the provisions under consideration lack Republican support.

President Biden has said repeatedly that he would like passage of his $1.9 trillion stimulus package to be bipartisan but both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled today that they are prepared to go it alone if Republicans won’t ‘go big’ on a plan to repair the fractured economy. [UPDATE: House and Senate Democrats introduced a joint budget resolution Monday that instructs committees to begin drafting President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan over the next two weeks.]

[…]

Senate Republicans have opposed a relief plan approaching $2 trillion and broadly object to the inclusion in the bill of liberal priorities such as an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Biden plan also includes an additional $1,400 for eligible Americans, tacked onto the $600 stimulus checks sent out earlier this month; an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits through September; money for COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution; funding for state and local governments; and expansion of an existing tax credit for children. [UPDATE: A small group of Republican Senators approached President Biden with a counter-proposal of $600 billion, which would come out to roughly a third of Biden’s proposal].

[…]

Moving a massive COVID relief package through the reconciliation process would start with the passage of a budget resolution, which Pelosi said the House will pass next week and send to the Senate. The Senate can offer amendments and send it back to the House, and then House committees will have two weeks to mark up their sections of the COVID relief bill before the chamber returns for a floor vote the week of Feb. 22. Pelosi has said she wants a bill passed before extended unemployment benefits expire in mid-March.”