Congressional Gridlock

Albert Marko | September 21st, 2021

         3 bills are in question:

o    Infrastructure(passed by Senate),

o    Reconciliation($3.5 trillion package, and

o    Budget


·         Reconciliation bill is where the Dems have loaded up social issues(voting, Immigration, etc) which requires 60 votes under the rules. Progressives in the House number 95 votes and have said they will not vote for infrastructure if this doesn’t pass, tying virtually all 3 together;


·         Senate Parliamentarian upheld the limits of that process so Dems could not use 51 majority rule to pass it where Manchin and Sinema (in reality 4 others also) are roadblocks;


·         To get around this, Dems are attempting to combine Budget and Reconciliation to force the GOP and moderate Dems to vote on it using blackmail/pressure from market turbulence;


·         GOP will only vote for Budget issue in a clean bill without increasing the debt ceiling, Dems are wanting  both bills voted on in unison with debt ceiling risen;


·         Dems will attempt to modify the filibuster rules to allow for 51 vote majority passage, but it is unlikely they even have the votes for that



Now, we do have some additional notes worthy of attention. It is clear that the Dems are tying the debt ceiling to the CR, in an effort to write the debt ceiling not as a dollar amount, but as an extension to a date in the future, which is December 3rd, 2022. The implications of this move are such that the Dems could spend any amount of money between now and December 2022, with their members not being tied to a dollar limit and able to please ALL parts of the caucus to push extreme progressive policies through. On the other hand, if they were to put the debt ceiling in reconciliation, they would have to specify a specific dollar amount.


In response to this, minority House whip Steve Scalise unsurprisingly stated that “not a single Republican should vote for this.” Furthermore, the Senate will not take up this House bill, and as such, the House will have to vote on a CR again in the next few weeks.


Now, we admit that there will be increasing pressure on the filibuster, but for now, it is safe.