As conversations on Capitol Hill regarding the next wave of COVID-19 relief continue forward, Democrats are preparing an option that would enable them to bypass the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation in the Senate.
Budget reconciliation, a complex procedural tool used to great effect in past Congresses, may be the preferred path forward for President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, amid ongoing disputes between factions in both chambers.
While reconciliation offers several attractive benefits to pass large, controversial legislation, it is far from a sure-thing. The risks are myriad, but the rewards can be significant. Though a simple majority is easier to get than 60 votes in the Senate, reconciliation requires the total unity of the Democratic party in both houses, and leaves very little margin of error. Should the effort be successful, the optics of taking a unilateral action in a country hungry for bipartisanship, too, presents pitfalls– particularly ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Elevate’s Guide to Budget Reconciliation is here to brief you on the ins-and-outs of the process, the history of its use, and what the next few weeks and months may look like as the first reconciliation effort of the new Congress begins.