- Biden has called for more than $4 trillion in new spending for his infrastructure plan.
- Democrats will likely pass a bill under reconciliation if no bipartisan deal is reached.
- Trade groups and lawmakers, meanwhile, are tapping experts to decipher the Senate’s complex rules.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
President Joe Biden has called for more than $4 trillion in spending and increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations as a way to pay for his ambitious infrastructure plan. He’s pushing for bipartisan action, but that could be tricky as lawmakers spar over the cost and some of the details in his proposal.
His plan includes provisions that would increase access to childcare, caregiving, paid leave, and health insurance, as well as fix ailing roads and bridges. Without bipartisan support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has another option, albeit a complicated one: the chamber’s so-called budget-reconciliation process. It’s a maneuver that would allow the majority party to fast-track its legislation, while dodging a nearly certain GOP filibuster.
Elizabeth MacDonough, the nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian, and her two assistants will make the final recommendation about what policies Democrats can — and can’t — push under reconciliation.
The Senate has the power to overrule the parliamentarian but historically does as she advises.
So far, MacDonough has signaled to Democrats that she could allow them several bites at the apple to pass various reconciliation bills this year. While the details aren’t public yet, Schumer said on April 5 that he expected to have some leeway to use reconciliation for more than one legislative priority.
The complicated process means that reconciliation whisperers who have expertise in those complicated rules are a hot commodity as all manner of trade groups and lawmakers clamor to get their priorities into the infrastructure plan and any other bills. They get bonus points if they’ve worked with MacDonough or helped muscle other bills through Congress under reconciliation before.
Scroll down for Insider’s list of 13 experts who have been tapped on K Street and Capitol Hill to help. The list will be periodically updated to reflect the latest developments.