A recent ruling by Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough could force Democrats to alter their plans to use reconciliation to pass their infrastructure package, Punchbowl News reports.
According to Punchbowl’s sources on the Hill, the decision that MacDonough issued last Friday does allow Democrats to create more than one reconciliation bill during a single fiscal year, but it also requires them to cite a reason other than expediency, such as an economic recession, in order to use reconciliation. This could prevent Democrats from using reconciliation just to get bills passed by simple majority vote in an attempt to avoid having to surpass the 60 vote threshold that would prevent a Republican filibuster.
“Unlike the 301 resolution, a section 304 resolution is an optional procedure untethered to the Section 300 structure,” MacDonough wrote, according to The Hill. “There is no deadline for its reporting from committee or its completion in the Senate.”
She noted that allowing the revisions to be automatically discharged from the Budget Committee would run the risk of “eroding the budget process,” and said that the panel could be releasing “meaningless, stop-gap measures or shells for future consideration.”
The parliamentarian wrote: “That kind of chaos was not at all