On Tuesday, the Senate voted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package (The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) by a 69-30 vote. Immediately following its passage, the Senate turned its attention to the budget resolution and on Wednesday morning just before 4 a.m., the Senate passed Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget resolution. The initial budget reconciliation amendment process (“Vote-A-Rama”) was slated for up to 50 hours of debate on the measure, but both sides yielded back some of their time as the votes hit the 15-hour mark. Following a 50-49 partisan vote in favor of the final reconciliation instructions, the 12 Senate committees that were given reconciliation instructions can now begin work over the remainder of the summer recess to craft their various titles for incorporation into the $3.5 trillion framework.
Senate committees have been given until September 15th to report their various titles so that the Senate can proceed when it is scheduled to reconvene that week. This period will be crucial to ironing out the details and pay-fors of the agreement, which further came under scrutiny in a statement from Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) criticizing the federal governments’ continued deficit spending. A final reconciliation bill cannot pass the Senate without the votes of all 50 Democrats (assuming no Republicans join in support). The reconciliation instructions reflect the maximum cost authorized for a possible package — $3.5 trillion — however it is likely, given the concerns of Senator Manchin as well as another notably centrist Democrat Senator Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona), that the resulting legislation will not reach that total.