Congress

Democrats Finish ‘Rough Draft’ Of Reconciliation Bill

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Congressional Democrats hoped to release the semi-final details of the large reconciliation spending bill on Wednesday and the White House did publish a framework for the package that night, but congressional leaders reportedly finished a rough draft of the actual legislative text yesterday evening.

The exact dollar amounts that every program will receive will remain fluid until a bill is actually published and moves toward a vote, but the result of the vote seems more certain now than when it will occur.

Disagreement between moderates and progressive has been the biggest obstacle to passing something, but the House Progressive Caucus now says they'll vote for a $1.75 trillion bill.

From Bloomberg:

With Biden on his way to European summit meetings, House Democrats Thursday released a rough draft of legislation to enact the plan, but it likely will take days or even weeks before it might be ready for a vote. Neither the House nor Senate is scheduled to be in session Friday but negotiations were set to continue through the weekend. [...]

[The] Biden framework triggered movement forward in the House when progressives formally endorsed a bill that is half the size they originally wanted. Representative Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the group’s endorsement of it means that even if other priorities like paid leave are not added, CPC members would vote for it.

This is some of the most relieving news I've read in months as I was beginning to worry that progressives would sink a compromise bill. They evidently understand, however, that passing at least some of the things they want is better than passing nothing.

With an endorsement from the House Progressive Caucus, all that's holding up a bill is haggling over the final numbers with Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The former appears to be the most significantly stumbling block and it may take weeks to finish the legislative text.

None of this is ideal, but this is the reality of governing in an evenly divided Senate in which Democrats rely on the Vice President to break votes.