Congress

House Democrats Pass $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

A group of centrist Democrats in the House of Representatives threatened to vote against a budget resolution that will facilitate the passage of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, but all Democrats eventually voted in favor of the resolution.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is very good at her job, but in this case her job was relatively easy.

All she had to do was give them what they wanted by promising to do something she was going to do anyway: schedule a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure spending bill that passed the Senate.

“I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27. I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage," Pelosi said. “We must keep the 51-vote privilege by passing the budget and work with House and Senate Democrats to reach agreement in order for the House to vote on a Build Back Better Act that will pass the Senate."

Given that all Democrats unanimously voted for the budget resolution, it's relatively safe to assume that all or virtually all of them will also vote for an actual spending bill when or if it reaches the House next month.

Nancy Pelosi has no found shortage of detractors during her time as the speaker, but she has never failed to deliver when it actually matters. The vast majority of complaints over her leadership -- at least from the left -- are complaints about things she cannot control or force herself. The speaker does not control the other political party, the courts, or the limits of federal law. The speaker's job is to unify the party and move legislation and she has been more successful at that than anyone ever has been. It's not her fault that most legislation dies in the Senate.

It remains to be seen what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will have to give centrist members of his own caucus in exchange for their support for a large reconciliation bill, but I believe they'll pull it off. Senator Kyrsten Sinema says she won't vote for a $3.5 trillion bill, but she effectively did by voting in favor of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution. She's more than likely fishing for a lower price tag with the intention of eventually voting for something.

If the final bill ends up being $2.9 trillion or whatever number Sinema has in mind instead of $3.5 trillion, it would still be massive.