House Democrats Plan Saturday Votes to Advance Tax, Spend Plan
(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats are attempting to move forward with the next procedural step needed to pass President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, penciling in a rare Saturday committee meeting to advance a proposed $3.5 trillion package.
The Budget Committee’s markup could occur Friday instead of Saturday, if Republicans agree to an expedited schedule, Chairman John Yarmuth said, adding that he expects the full House to consider the package next week.
The committee’s vote on the individual components of the tax and spending bill is a necessary step but does not mean Democrats have resolved all their differences on the package. The Budget panel cannot amend what the other committees voted to approve earlier this month -- rather, any changes would come at the Rules Committee or on the floor of the House later.
If the House votes next week on the $3.5 trillion package, it could put moderate members in a difficult position, requiring them to vote on a massive bill that the Senate would likely amend and send back to the House.
“We wanted to try to pre-conference it so that when members here took a vote, they were voting on something they knew the Senate was going to vote on and pass,” Yarmuth told reporters. “That’s obviously not going to happen now.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to pass a separate $550 billion infrastructure bill on Monday, but faces demands from progressives in her caucus to complete work on the $3.5 trillion measure first. Earlier Thursday, Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer announced they are presenting lawmakers with a “menu of options” for revenue raisers to pay for the bigger bill as talks continue.
“With the Build Back Better package, we have an opportunity to deliver investments that will change lives and save them, too. No more delays. We need to act with the urgency this moment requires,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, tweeted Thursday.
Still to be decided are which of the revenue options to include in the plan, the overall price tag of the agreement, as well as major disputes on drug price regulations, and whether to lift the cap Republicans imposed on the state and local tax deduction.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.