Critical Politics: Here’s How Democrats’ Expenditure Bill Could Change Again



There is a lot of jargon in Washington, but perhaps few sentences are as important – or oddly named – as the Senate’s “Byrd bath”.

It is a required process whenever the Senate majority attempts to pass a bill through reconciliation – the legislative process tool that allows them to bypass filibuster. The Democrats’ social spending bill, approved by the House earlier this month, is now being dealt with.

While the Byrd bath scrub looks like another meaningless Washington speech, the consequences are substantial: If the Senate parliamentarian decides that elements of the bill do not follow Senate rules, they are excluded – called ” Byrd’s droppings ”- without realistic recourse.

Cuts to the bill could anger progressives or moderates and alter the delicate negotiation between the House and the Senate.

The social spending bill under review

The process is shrouded in a bit of mystery as the proceedings are usually limited to a handful of assistants from both sides as well as parliamentary staff. The current parliamentarian, Elizabeth macdonough, is not known to speak publicly about her decisions. She released a rare written statement in September explaining her position that including a path to citizenship in the Democrats’ spending bill would violate the rules.

In that case, Republicans would have to comb through Byrdable’s policies – elements of the bill that they say violate the rules of reconciliation. They would argue their case with MacDonough. Democrats would defend the provisions.

Democrats remain concerned that even their most recent and watered-down attempt to include an immigration policy in the bill – offering protection against deportation for some immigrants who entered the country illegally – will not survive the process.

Also at risk is a policy Democrats are already touting to voters: a $ 35-per-month cap on insulin and other policy changes in private health plans. The fiscal rules will allow for significant changes to medicare, but it is less clear whether the fiscal rules will allow changes to the rules for private healthcare plans, possibly because they have a more tangential effect on federal accounting.

Earlier this month, the Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) began to blame Republicans if the policy was removed.

Certain climatic provisions, in particular tax breaks for electric vehicles, could also be challenged.

Byrd Bath’s official meeting with the Senate MP was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

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Christmas countdown

The Byrd process has no set timeline, but Democrats are hoping the bill will be submitted the week of December 13. wording for Christmas Eve plans).

Schumer’s schedule could meet resistance from Sen. Joe manchin (DW.V.), who as the most conservative Democrat has been at the center of the negotiations for months. Manchin advocated slowing down the process and lowering the bill.

While Democrats have so far been reluctant to criticize Manchin during negotiations – they need his vote and that of all other Democrats – patience is running out. And it’s likely to only get worse as the calendar draws closer to Christmas.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, calls for a “high noon” time when everyone must put their cards on the table and take a position, which Manchin has yet to do publicly.

“I mean, God bless Joe Manchin, but how many months does this go on? Durbin told reporters. “I told him a month ago, for God’s sake, Joe, declare victory and close the deal.”

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) Addresses reporters outside the Senate Chamber on Tuesday.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

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The right to abortion goes to court

Across the street from the Capitol, the Supreme Court this morning will consider Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that calls into question the abortion right originally spelled out in Roe v Wade. The newly installed Conservative majority could overturn the Roe decision in what would be the most important abortion decision since the 1973 case.

My colleague David Savage provides five benchmarks on what to listen to in today’s oral argument.

Several Senate Republicans lined up behind Mississippi on Tuesday, which wants to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions include a life-threatening “medical emergency” or a fetal diagnosis that would be incompatible with life outside the womb. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Former vice-president Mike pence also spoke in favor of the Mississippi law as he appears before a Supreme Court that includes three Conservative justices appointed by the Trump administration.

“Today, there is hope on the horizon that Roe’s days against Wade are drawing to a close,” he said in a speech at an event hosted by the anti-Wade group. abortion Susan B. Anthony List. “Now our Supreme Court has a chance to right this historic wrong once and for all. ”

The view from Washington

Marc des meadowsDonald Trump’s former chief of staff is cooperating with a House panel investigating the Jan.6 Capitol uprising and providing certain documents, for the time being fending off the panel’s threat to hold him in contempt, said the chairman of the committee. But the panel “will continue to assess its degree of compliance,” the representative said. Bennie thompson (D-Miss.).

Dr Mehmet Oz, the famous cardiac surgeon, will run for the open seat of the Pennsylvania US Senate as a Republican. Oz is a longtime New Jersey resident but recently registered in Pennsylvania and is expected to compete in the crowded race with huge name recognition. Pennsylvania has long been considered one of the most competitive Senate races for next year.

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