Joe Biden’s Plans in Jeopardy Amid Democrat Disagreements

Joe Biden's Plans in Jeopardy Amid Democrat Disagreements

( – Democrats celebrated their imagined victory when they assumed control of the White House and both Congressional chambers. However, the elation was short-lived. Unsurprisingly, it appears the barrier to pushing through their voting rights bill comes from within the party and not from Republicans.

Democrats can’t seem to get behind one another when it comes to passing major bills. Yes, they were able to push through their massive COVID-19 relief bill, and they will likely be able to force a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill through the Senate this year, too. But that could end their ability to pass any meaningful legislation.

Reconciliation Ruled the Day

With the Senate evenly split 50/50 and Kamala Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote, a Senate procedure called reconciliation has come into play. It’s a way for the Senate to bypass the filibuster and pass a measure by a simple majority vote of 50 instead of 60.

Reconciliation was how Democrats pushed through the COVID relief bill. They’re expected to use it later this year to force Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill through the Senate as well.

However, there is one caveat — reconciliation can only be used for legislation concerning government spending, taxes, and the nation’s debt limit.

The Democrat’s Voting Rights Bill Dead in the Water

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to move forward with plans to push a sweeping election reform bill through the Senate later this month. Among other things, the bill would create national election standards which would limit the individual states’ abilities to run their own elections.

However, Democrats would need to get at least 10 Republicans to abandon ship and vote with them to pass the measure in the Senate. There’s little to zero chance of that happening, and it is entirely likely a few Democrats in swing states might vote against the measure as well.

Democrats’ only real hope at passing the bill appears to involve either altering or doing away with the filibuster, the mechanism that forces a supermajority vote of 60 to pass bills. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) both say they oppose any move towards doing away with the filibuster. Additionally, Manchin has already spoken out against the election bill, making it highly unlikely he would undermine his position by giving the Democrats a chance to pass it with a simple majority.

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