(UnitedVoice.com) – A few short months ago, the Democratic Party was riding high after winning the majority back in the evenly divided US Senate. For the first time since former President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, Democrats controlled the federal government despite razor-thin margins in both chambers. Their weak majority is dampening spirits among the Left, especially now that the Senate Parliamentarian might have just killed their agenda.
In March, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was giddy after Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the Senate could reopen previous reconciliation bills and amend them with new proposals. However, on Wednesday, June 2, MacDonough revised her ruling, and it could be a death blow to the Left’s agenda.
Is the Left’s Agenda Thwarted?
It appears that President Joe Biden believes his agenda is flailing after bragging that he intended to be the next great liberal president, perhaps even greater than FDR. Those hopes are coming to an end as his nearly $4 trillion in outstanding proposals are stalling in the Senate. He even recognized it when he said he couldn’t do much with a House that only has a four-vote advantage and a tied Senate.
The reality is now setting in even more pronounced thanks to MacDonough’s most recent guidance. Two parts of the parliamentarian’s ruling are devastating to the Democrat’s full agenda:
- Democrats may only use reconciliation one more time this session to get around the GOP – for the 2022 budget.
- Budget resolutions cannot be discharged from the Senate Budget Committee to the Senate floor for a vote without a majority vote in the 2021 budget.
In particular, the second rule is extremely important and will likely block any reconciliation bill. The Senate Budget Committee consists of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. By the ruling, the Senate Budget Committee must pass any reconciliation bill out before the entire Senate can vote on it. To pass a reconciliation bill out of committee, at least one Republican would need to vote with Democrats.
Essentially, this puts Democrats back where they were at the beginning of 2021. They can only use reconciliation once per year.
That’s a big win for conservatives.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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