Democrats' reconciliation strategy dealt blow by Senate parliamentarian

Senate rules referee says special procedure to pass multiple filibuster-proof bills should be reserved for ‘extraordinary circumstances.’
Article Wed, Jun 02, 2021
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Senate rules referee says special procedure to pass multiple filibuster-proof bills should be reserved for ‘extraordinary circumstances.’

The new guidance, issued to Senate staff on Friday, suggests that Democrats will get just one more try this year to pass a filibuster-proof legislative package to enact additional priorities ranging from infrastructure to immigration policy proposed by President Joe Biden and party leaders on Capitol Hill. If they want to use reconciliation yet again, they’d need to adopt a fiscal 2023 budget resolution next year, but would likely get only one shot then as well.

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s four-page opinion makes clear her view that the framers of the 1974 law establishing the modern budget process didn’t intend for lawmakers to be able to use the budget reconciliation process as many times as they could jam into a given year.