TOPLINE: Just two weeks after his inauguration, President Biden abandoned all pretense of bipartisanship and decided to ram a partisan budget reconciliation through Congress. Critically, President Biden’s plan contains a job-killing $15-an-hour minimum wage, billions in unneeded bailout funds for state governments, and a whole host of other measures that will destabilize our recovering economy.
After weeks of calling for unity and bipartisanship, the Biden Administration has decided to ignore Congressional Republicans, and the millions of Americans they represent, to ram through a partisan COVID-relief bill that will cost nearly $2 trillion. Again, despite calls for bipartisanship, there is no indication President Biden will change so much as a cent of his plan to accommodate Republican concerns.
President Biden’s partisan relief plan is incredibly expensive and comes while over $1 trillion in funds from previously-enacted stimulus laws remain unspent. The House and Senate have both continued to pass targeted, effective, and bipartisan relief measures. Democrats’ latest scheme abandons that precedent in favor of a slate of liberal wish-list items unrelated to the ongoing pandemic.
The House is expected to consider Democrats’ budget resolution, which establishes the groundwork for budget reconciliation, as early as tomorrow. Text has not been made available to Members. Democrats will bypass a Budget Committee markup.
Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID Proposal:
- Includes $15/hour minimum wage, which would destroy 1.3 million jobs according to CBO
- $400 bonus UI until end of 2021
- $1,400 stimulus checks
- $50 billion coronavirus testing
- $20 billion national vaccine program
- Funds 100,000 health care workers
- $10 billion for domestic PPE purchases
- $170 billion for K-12 and higher education
- Nearly all funding has been obligated, including $67.5 billion to K-12 schools; however, an overwhelming majority of those funds have not been spent yet
- $350 billion bailout for state and local governments
- Extends and expands COVID-19 paid leave mandates which will apply to businesses of all sizes
- $30 billion in rental and critical energy and water assistance
- Extends eviction and foreclosure moratorium to September 30th
- $40 billion for childcare
- $30 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund and 100% federal reimbursement
- $20 billion for public transit agencies
- $20 billion for Tribal governments
- Extends 15% SNAP increase
There are substantial and abundant procedural reasons to oppose President Biden’s partisan budget reconciliation process. Importantly, the inclusion of minimum wage and paid leave in this proposal would violate the Senate’s Byrd Rule — if Democrats force these provisions through, they will effectively eliminate the Senate filibuster. Even Democrat House Budget Chair John Yarmouth said doing so would be the “ultimate power move” and “I’m not sure it’s the smartest thing to do.”
Background on Budget Reconciliation:
- The budget resolution will provide reconciliation instructions to several committees to produce legislation that won’t be subject to the 60-vote threshold in the Senate.
- Any legislative committee with jurisdiction over spending, revenue, or the debt limit may be directed to report reconciliation legislation, and numerous committees are expected to receive instructions to report reconciliation legislation.
- Multiple items within President Biden’s COVID proposal would be considered extraneous matters that violate the Byrd Rule in the Senate, including increasing the minimum wage and paid leave, however, Democrats are positioning to break the Byrd Rule to force major liberal policies through using reconciliation.
Click here or on the image below to view the fact sheet.
BOTTOM LINE: With this partisan budget reconciliation maneuver, President Biden makes a clear statement that he intends to govern only in Democrats’ best interests. This is just the start of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer’s efforts to dismantle longstanding Congressional traditions to force a liberal makeover on America.