December 4, 2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the media after the Senate Democrats lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 22, 2021.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

The Senate could work on its August hiatus to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure plan and a budget resolution that would allow Democrats to enact a number of priorities without Republican support, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Friday .

In a letter to his caucus, the New York Democrat said senators are working with the White House to turn the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure framework into law. The Senate Budgets Committee is also working on a measure that would allow Democrats to pass a sweeping childcare, health care and climate policy plan without a GOP vote.

“My intention for this term is for the Senate to consider both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions, which is the first step in getting laws through the reconciliation process,” Schumer wrote before the chamber’s return to Washington next week .

“Please note that time is of the essence and we have a lot to do. Senators should be prepared for the opportunity to work long nights and weekends and stay in Washington during the pre-scheduled period of work in August state, “he continued.

The Senate is due to leave Washington from August 9th to September 10th.

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The coming weeks will shape the agenda that Democratic leaders President Joe Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can skip ahead of next year’s midterm elections. They aim to create a stronger social safety net, shake up the post-coronavirus economy, and lay the foundations for mitigating climate change.

Democratic leaders must weigh competing interests within their party to get both big proposals through Congress. Some liberals have criticized the lack of funding for the bipartisan plan to tackle the climate crisis and transition to green energy. Some Middle Democrats, led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, have questioned spending trillions of dollars on a Democratic-only bill.

The Senate Democrats cannot lose a single vote on the Reconciliation Act if the Senate is split 50:50 by party. Pelosi, a California Democrat, must also get a slim majority in the House of Representatives.

Pelosi reiterated Thursday that she would like the Senate to pass both the infrastructure plan and budgetary vote measures before the House takes up either of the two proposals.

“I said that I really can’t pick up the reconciliation until we see the infrastructure and – can’t pick up the infrastructure until we see infrastructure and reconciliation being addressed by the Senate,” she said.

Eleven Republican senators have backed the bipartisan plan, enough to get it passed if all Democrats get on board. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has not yet approved the framework.

About two dozen business and union groups backed the infrastructure proposal Thursday, which may give it a boost if the Senate tries to vote on it. The organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, said they “urge Congress to turn this framework into laws that will be converted into law,” adding that they are “obliged to help make this happen.” crossed the finish line “.

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