House adopts budget and greenlights reconciliation process

Washington DC - On Tuesday, House Democrats adopted a budget resolution needed to unlock a filibuster-proof $3.5-trillion package of domestic spending and tax breaks, and teed up a vote on a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill next month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave remarks at the US Capitol in Washington on Tuesday regarding budget negations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave remarks at the US Capitol in Washington on Tuesday regarding budget negations.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

The 220-212 vote capped off an eventful 24 hours of negotiating between Democratic leaders and a group of 10 party moderates who had planned to vote against the budget unless the infrastructure vote came first.

While they didn’t get that demand met, they did get leadership to agree to holding the infrastructure vote no later than September 27, a few days before surface transportation authorizations are set to expire on October 1.

The budget was "deemed" adopted when the House adopted a rule setting debate parameters for the Senate-passed infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation. The rule also included language that ensures the infrastructure bill will be brought to the floor by September 27.

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The House was set to vote on the voting rights measure later Tuesday before recessing until September 20. Leadership is hoping to have the reconciliation package, which committees have a September 15 deadline to assemble, ready for floor action around the same time.

Both sides seem on board with the new plan

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he thought "everybody won" on Tuesday in the ongoing negotiations on budget and infrastructure legislation.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he thought "everybody won" on Tuesday in the ongoing negotiations on budget and infrastructure legislation.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters on a press call Tuesday afternoon shortly before the rule vote that leadership’s goal is to hold floor votes on the reconciliation package and the infrastructure bill by the end of September.

The tight timeline, however, indicates leadership has backed off its previous strategy.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been saying for months that the House would not vote on the infrastructure bill until the Senate passed the reconciliation package. But the House is expected to vote on reconciliation first, and it’s unclear if the Senate would be able to weigh in before the September 27 deadline for the infrastructure vote.

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Hoyer, when asked if that dynamic proves moderates effectively won the negotiations, said he thinks "everybody won."

He said he’s talked to both moderates and progressives, and both sides are on board with the new plan.

"I have assured people, in my view, both are going to pass. Whatever the sequence, both are going to pass," Hoyer said.

The end of September will be action-packed, as Congress will also need to pass appropriations legislation to keep the government funded before the fiscal year ends September 30, as well as a measure to raise or suspend the debt limit.

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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