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Democrats Aim for Reconciliation with $3.5 Trillion “Infrastructure” Budget

In an effort to fulfill many of his campaign promises, President Biden, along with numerous congressional Democrats, came to an agreement on a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint. This blueprint, dubbed the “Human Infrastructure” budget proposal, allocates money to “combat climate change,” expand Medicare, as well as numerous other partisan priorities.

However, this partisan $3.5 trillion budget proposal is not a stand-alone proposal; it will advance alongside a bipartisan infrastructure package expected to total around $1.2 trillion.

The Big Picture

If passed, the $3.5 trillion budget would mark the largest budget in the history of the United States.

Among the broad goals of addressing climate change and expanding Medicare, the budget also includes the creation of a civilian climate corps -- based on Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps -- with the goal of creating jobs surrounding climate change and conservation. The bill also outlines federally funded child care, home care, and housing investments, as well as an attempt to have a path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants. Further, the legislation includes two years of free community college and universal prekindergarten for children ages 3 or 4.

Democrats also vaguely outlined investments into renewable energy and the transformation of the US economy from natural gas, oil, and coal to wind and solar power. Among these investments is a clean energy standard that mandates renewable energy or electricity as well as further tax incentives for electric vehicles. These policies would ravage the fossil fuels industry and, if implemented, are likely to cause severe power shortages in the near future.

In order to fund this mammoth budget proposal, massive tax increases are expected on various different parts of the American economy such as higher capital gains rates for wealthier individuals, higher taxes on inheritance, and the further fortification of the IRS in order to have a more efficient and stronger enforcement of both pre-existing tax laws as well as proposed changes.

While the Democrats claim to be able to pay for lavish spending by “soaking the rich” in new taxes, history shows that such increases never produce enough revenue. As a result, Democrats will be forced to raise taxes on the middle class in short order, or borrow ever larger sums from foreign governments.

The Details

How can the budget be passed?

  • Typically, the Senate can pass bills only if they are “filibuster proof”; that is, supported by the 60-vote majority necessary to end debate and bring the bill to a vote. However, through a process known as budget reconciliation, a bill can be passed with much more ease and haste.
  • As opposed to needing the 60 votes required for other bills, a reconciliation bill needs only a simple majority, or a 50-50 vote with the Vice President to break the tie, in order to pass the Senate.
  • A reconciliation bill cannot be filibustered, Senate debate time is limited, and only specific types of amendments can be proposed.

Is there a way to prevent budget reconciliation?

  • There are limitations to the process of budget reconciliation in the Senate; the most well-known is the Byrd rule, named after former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). First adopted in the 1980s, the rule was intended to limit immaterial provisions in reconciliation bills.
  • Regardless of party or position, any member of the Senate may raise a budget point of order against a provision in the reconciliation bill.
  • If a budget point of order is raised, the Senate Parliamentarian then decides whether there has been a violation of the Byrd rule and, if so, the Senate can waive the budget point of order with 60 votes, a filibuster proof majority.

Is the budget expected to pass?

  • The House of Representatives is expected to pass budget reconciliation on a party-line vote.
  • If no Senators such as Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) or Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) break ranks with their party and vote against the bill, it is likely that it will be passed and the largest re-working of the American economy and federal funding since FDR’s New Deal will be enacted.

Why It Matters

Despite what many Democratic politicians think, the Federal government does not have an infinite amount of money. Federal spending of $3.5 trillion, along with another estimated $1.2 trillion, is an exorbitant and almost unfathomable amount of money that must come from somewhere, and that “somewhere” is from American taxpayers.

The current inflation spike that’s driving up costs for everyday Americans is a direct result of such reckless spending.

While no doubt some aspects of the budget are positive for the American people, these pale in comparison to the negatives. The increase in taxation, the stifling of the American economy with the government-mandated transition from traditional to renewable sources of energy, and numerous provisions in the bill that do not even come close to resembling infrastructure by any definition of the word represent the further implementation of the Democratic party’s agenda.

The Democratic party can only hide behind the shield of “infrastructure” and “moderateness” for so long until the American people wake up and see behind the poorly-created facade they have made. Whether it be President Biden’s false promises of “building back better” with a projected $7 trillion plan, a budget blueprint of $3.5 trillion, a supposed bipartisan $1.2 trillion plan, and numerous other trillions in spending, the Biden administration seeks to balloon the already overinflated Federal government. Make no mistake, American taxpayers will face exorbitant increases in taxation in order to fund his party’s agenda.