Capitol Corner April 2021

President Biden released his American Jobs Plan on Wednesday, March 31, which can be found here:

It is important to remember this is just the White House plan for ainfrastructure proposal. While not precisely what Congress will do, it is indicative of what a final package will likely include and marks the beginning of the process. Congress must now draft and debate legislation to fund and implement these and related provisions. The package includes transportation, water, housing, broadband, public schools, community colleges, climate action and more. At more than $2 trillion, it is also only the first part of the President’s plan. The President is planning another press conference in the next few weeks on a second large package that includes more people-focused spending priorities favored by Progressives, such as expanded childcare, free community college, universal prekindergarten and more. 

Republicans are opposed to the tax increases proposed to pay for these packages, and some Progressives are saying it does not go far enough. Meanwhile, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the budget reconciliation process can be used on both packages to avoid a GOP filibuster and pass them with a simple majority instead of the 60 votes needed to advance legislation in the upper chamber. Budget reconciliation is usually only allowed once per fiscal year budget. Democrats used the process earlier this year to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, called the American Rescue Plan, without any GOP votes. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asked the parliamentarian to revise the current budget resolution to allow for more reconciliation bills in order to pass the President’s agenda.