What You Need to Know
- The budget resolution sets a Sept. 15 deadline for the congressional committees drafting the tax and spending legislation.
The U.S. House adopted a $3.5 trillion budget resolution Tuesday after a White House pressure campaign and assurances from Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped unite fractious Democrats to move ahead on the core of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.
The 220-212 vote puts to rest, for now, an intra-party rift between progressives and moderates that threatened to derail Pelosi’s strategy for shepherding the budget framework and a separate $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill through Congress.
To avoid a showdown on the floor, Pelosi orchestrated Tuesday’s roll call to avoid a direct vote on the budget resolution. Pelosi used a procedural maneuver that deemed it passed once the House adopted a rule governing floor debate for two other measures — the infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation.
No Republicans voted in favor of the rule.
“Today is a great day of pride for our country and for Democrats,” Pelosi said on the floor before the vote.
The Senate already cleared the budget resolution on a 50-49 party-line vote. Tuesday’s House vote paves the way for the reconciliation process, in which committees write the details of the budget framework into tax and spending legislation the House and Senate will vote on this fall.
Using reconciliation means Democrats can push it through the Senate without the threat of a Republican filibuster.
Pelosi released a statement committing to passing the separate infrastructure legislation by Sept. 27.
Ten moderate Democrats led by New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer had been pushing to pass the infrastructure legislation now.
But progressives have demanded the House take up the budget resolution, which encompasses many of their priorities, and hold off passing the infrastructure legislation as leverage to make sure the Senate addresses their priorities.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was among the progressives who warned Tuesday that House leaders must keep their commitment to them and wait for the Senate to pass reconciliation before they take up the infrastructure bill.
“If that is not the case then they shouldn’t count on us,” she said, emphasizing that the Sept. 27 deadline set in the rule for infrastructure isn’t binding.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters the goal is to pass both bills by the end of September “if we can.”