Buckle up: Legislative schedule heats up as multiple deadlines loom

Buckle up: Legislative schedule heats up as multiple deadlines loom

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is telling his caucus to prepare for a month of long nights and weekend work as Democrats juggle putting out fires and advancing President Joe Biden’s agenda. The most crucial votes will arguably surround keeping the government funded, raising the debt ceiling, and passing both the trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act. The House did complete work this week on the $3.5 trillion Democrats-only bill, but it seems increasingly clear that the Senate will not have their version of the bill ready by Sept. 27—the day by which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed to moving the bipartisan bill. Ideally, Pelosi had hoped to proceed with both bills at the same time.

In a letter to colleagues on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer mapped out the lower chamber’s rigorous legislative schedule for the next couple weeks. Hoyer recommitted to taking the Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill but was less specific about timing for a vote on the Build Back Better Act, saying only it would be considered “during this work period.”

Here are the votes Hoyer outlined for the upcoming week-plus:

Continuing resolution to fund the government
Emergency supplemental aid for storm damage and Afghan allies
Suspending debt limit
National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 (funding the military)
Women’s Health Protection Act (codifying Roe into federal law)
Boosting veterans pay
Bipartisan infrastructure vote Sept. 27
Build Back Better Act (this work period)

The tricky part of raising the debt ceiling will take place in the Senate, where Republicans have simultaneously vowed to block such a bill from coming to the Senate floor while also insisting that Democrats alone bear responsibility for raising the cap to avoid a global economic Chernobyl. Republicans justify their brinksmanship on a matter that has always been bipartisan because they are miffed that Democrats are pursuing Biden’s Build Back Better Act. In other words, Republicans don’t think the Senate majority should be able to pursue legislation without the explicit permission of the minority party. Epically hypocritical, given that Senate Republicans passed the GOP’s 2017 tax giveaway to the rich on party lines using the exact procedure Democrats are now employing.

But Democratic leadership has bypassed the idea of raising the debt limit on a party-line vote through reconciliation, and it’s sticking to that plan.

A readout this week from the White House of a conversation between President Joe Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi reaffirmed that they view both raising the debt ceiling and funding the government as “bipartisan responsibilities, especially given that a substantial debt was run up during the previous administration.”

The read out concluded, “Any suggestion by Republicans that they will shirk their responsibility is indefensible.” 

Gonna get real interesting over the next few weeks.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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