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On the Hill: Senate Sends Budget Resolution to House

The Senate last week voted 50–49 to pass a $3.5 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget resolution with no Republican support.

Passing the budget resolution is a key procedural step to implementing reconciliation and will allow Democrats to develop and advance legislation based on President Joe Biden’s “human infrastructure” priorities, including health care policies, without input from Republicans. It sets forth the top-line federal spending numbers for FY 2022 and includes general instructions for congressional committees to follow when developing policies in compliance with the budget reconciliation legislative process.

After the Senate vote, House leadership called members to return to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 for a brief legislative session to vote on the budget resolution.

Moderates Call on Pelosi to Hold Physical Infrastructure Vote

Meanwhile, a group of nine moderate House Democrats urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to call a vote on the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate early last week, before considering the partisan budget resolution. Pelosi previously announced plans to delay the bipartisan infrastructure vote until Senate Democrats pass a reconciliation bill.

Because of the narrow Democratic majority in the House, a small block of lawmakers could impede action and derail the legislative process and timeline. To ameliorate this risk, Pelosi is exploring a procedural step that would concurrently initiate floor proceedings for both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. However, it appears unlikely this procedural adjustment will satisfy the group of moderates calling for a vote, creating uncertainty moving into next week.

Congressional Schedule

Senators are on recess and expected to return to Washington Sept. 13.

The House also is on recess, but representatives briefly will resume legislative work the week of Aug. 23 to vote on the budget resolution and other legislation. House members will return to their break following the votes and are scheduled to reconvene Sept. 20.

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About the Author

Christina Fagnano is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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