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WASHINGTON — The Senate’s nonpartisan parliamentarian Monday ruled in favor of a Democratic effort to pass additional legislation through a process called reconciliation, according to a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), opening the door for Democrats to approve more fiscal measures along party lines in the Senate this year.
Democrats have used reconciliation once this year to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, and lawmakers had expected to be limited to using it only one more time this year. With the parliamentarian’s new advice to lawmakers, Democrats could now possibly use it a third time to skirt the 60-vote threshold necessary for most legislation to pass in the Senate.
“This confirms the leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” the spokesman for Schumer said.
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The spokesman said Schumer hasn’t decided whether to move forward with using reconciliation again and that “some parameters still need to be worked out” around its use.
The ruling will give Democrats more room to maneuver to pass President Biden’s agenda, including his recently announced $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. The White House is expected to roll out another large package in the coming weeks, this time focused on child-care and antipoverty efforts.