MPs and allies on both sides of the aisle are now looking at the party-line package at an alarming pace – before it even won a public commitment from Sen. Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz.) — But there’s almost certainly not enough time to scrap the entire bill before Democrats start considering it. Senators are still waiting for the Congressional Budget Office scores they will need before moving forward.
As the cinema remains silent on whether it can support the tax provisions negotiated by Schumer and Sen. Joe Munchkin (DW.Va.) Without her input, Democrats’ incredibly tight schedule for the bill could expose them to GOP challenges in real time this weekend. Should any of those Republican objections come to fruition, stricter rules that govern the package’s potential without a GOP supporter would force Democrats to amend the bill at the last minute, delaying the final vote.
While there is precedent for such chaos on the Senate floor, the eleventh-hour hurdles carry a real risk of loss or destruction of the party-line deal that Democrats have spent more than a year chasing.
The absence of Covid could also contribute to any floor drama: Democrats haven’t had a week with full attendance since June because of virus cases. And they can’t possibly lose a single caucus member, given that no Republicans plan to support their bill. But on the other hand, any Republican absence due to a positive COVID test could make things easier for Democrats.
On Monday Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) disclosed a positive test, but tweeted that he would return to the Senate for a vote on the Democratic package, “in line with CDC guidelines.”
After months of working with Manchin to reach an agreement, Senate Democrats are well aware that Republicans are planning to spend significant energy shifting the bill, re-dubbed the West Virginia centrist Is.inflation reduction actBefore any final passage roll-calls, senators must endure a “vote-a-ram,” a nickname for a required amendment barrage that typically lasts all night and allows the GOP to vote Democrats into politically uncomfortable votes. will allow forcing in a series of.
The process would be the last chance for Republicans to entice Munchkin or Cinema to substantially change the bill. Asked if he is open to Republican amendments, Munchkin replied: “We have a nice balanced piece of legislation. It took me eight months to get here. I’ve listened to everyone along the way so we have There is a good law. But the process is what it is.”
As of Monday, Democratic and Republican staffers were preparing for the prospect of back-to-back private meetings with Senate lawmakers until Wednesday. Those odds with the chamber’s nonpartisan rule referees will help determine whether each piece of the bill accompanies the rules that allow Democrats to pass the package without the threat of a filibuster.
Vetting for Democrats’ drug pricing provisions alone has taken more than a week and is expected to drag on until Tuesday. Senate Democratic aides are expecting the chamber to convene at noon each day this week to allow those parliamentary meetings this morning, according to the floor notice.
The lawmaker has yet to consider a proposal for that prescription drug, and must now hear arguments over the package’s tax and climate pieces as well.
Some of the new policies included in the Munchkin-approved deal have yet to receive much scrutiny for compliance with budget rules — a procedural gauntlet that generally proves time-consuming.
“We’ve spent over a year and a half on this and I think we’ve written a textbook on how you do reconciliation,” Sen. ron wyden (D-Orre.) said last week, referring to the formal name of the budget rules that allow the bill to turn away a filibuster. The finance committee, headed by Wyden, is accused of drafting a large part of the bill.