For weeks, President Joe Biden and Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) preached the need for “unity” as the rift between Republicans and Democrats continued to widen.
Evidently, that idea didn’t take, as the Daily Wire reported that both Pelosi and Schumer are now pursuing procedural methods that would allow them to use their slight majority in both chambers to push through Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” — a $1.9 trillion COVID “relief” package — without bipartisan support.
The two Democrat leaders made clear in a statement that they are in the progress of enacting a Budget Reconciliation bill that would give them the power to push the new COVID-19 relief package through without worrying about garnering Republican support, as spending and tax measures can be passed with a simple majority.
“Introduction of a joint budget resolution is the first step to potentially enacting a Budget Reconciliation bill, one legislative tool available to Congress to quickly pass bipartisan COVID relief legislation,” the two wrote in a statement.
The statement went on to provide details of how the process will work, citing past uses of the process to justify its use again, before making a final plea to Congress with claims that the massive relief package must be passed sooner than later in order to help Americans struggling through the pandemic.
“The cost of inaction is high and growing, and the time for decisive action is now. With this budget resolution, the Democratic Congress is paving the way for the landmark Biden-Harris coronavirus package that will crush the virus and deliver real relief to families and communities in need,” the statement read.
According to The Hill, Schumer made similar statements from the Senate floor on Monday, urging his colleagues to get behind the new relief package in order to “pursue a bold and robust course of action,” adding that nobody should be concerned about “pinching pennies” when so many Americans are struggling as a result of job loss and business closures throughout the duration of the pandemic.
As of this writing, the House is set to vote on the budget reconciliation bill on Wednesday, which is expected to pass easily with the Democratic majority. Schumer has not yet announced when the upper chamber will take a vote on the matter, which will certainly be the more interesting vote to watch, as some moderate Democrats could join Republicans in voting against it.