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  |   Politics


US Senate Democrats look to get approval from parliamentarians on climate, drug, tax legislation

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Democrats in the US Senate are waiting for a response from the chamber’s parliamentarian that will determine if the party can override the chamber’s rules to pass legislation on party lines. The legislation at hand is a $430 billion bill aimed at addressing climate change, energy, and taxes.

Senate Democrats are waiting for a go signal from the senate parliamentarian, which serves as the chamber’s referee, on the major piece of legislation led by Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin.

The decision by the parliamentarian would have an impact on President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, especially as the midterm elections are months away, the races determining whether the Democratic Party maintains or loses a chamber or both chambers of Congress.

Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader said Monday that he planned to start debate on the legislation this week.

Democrats are looking to pass the bill through a process known as budget reconciliation, which would only require a simple majority rather than the filibuster, which would need 60 votes. Democrats hold a thin majority in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.

While the legislation is led by Manchin, who has been a holdout in key bills proposed by Biden, it remains to be seen whether Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, another holdout, would vote to pass the bill.

A spokesperson for Sinema said the lawmaker was still reviewing the bill and was waiting for the provisions if there would be any, that the parliamentarian would allow or not allow to be in the legislation.

Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to vote again on the bill that would expand healthcare to veterans who are suffering from illnesses as a result of exposure to toxic burn pits while in service.

Schumer said he reached a deal with GOP Senator Pat Toomey, who wanted a vote on the amendment that may change the money that was allocated for the bill.

This comes as the legislation initially passed the Senate with 34 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in voting in support.

However, after an error that was corrected by the House, Senate Republicans changed their votes and blocked the passage of the bill.

The change by Republicans followed the introduction of the legislation that Manchin and Schumer led. Many criticized the Republicans for blocking the burn pits legislation, seen as a retaliatory move for introducing the climate and tax bill.

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