You know, when it’s trash pickup day and you have only one Hefty bag left, you try to stuff all your garbage into it? That’s sort of how Congressional Democrats have treated their $3.5 trillion “budget reconciliation” bill. Since that type of bill can pass with only 51 votes and isn’t subject to filibuster, they’ve tried to cram every garbage idea the left’s got into that bag, from expensive climate change boondoggles to amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. But Sunday, the Senate Parliamentarian popped their Hefty bag.
Elizabeth McDonough ruled that just because something involves money (and everything Congress does involves money), that doesn’t make it a budget issue. Major non-budgetary legislation can’t be passed with 51 votes in a budget reconciliation bill. So the illegal immigrant amnesty cannot be included.
Since no Republicans support it, that should kill it. But the Biden White House, which has yet to hesitate to do a flamenco dance all over the Constitution, urged Democrats to come up with some other creative end-run around Senate rules to get amnesty passed with 51 votes. What should be happening instead is that the Parliamentarian should yank out all the other things that have no business being in a budget reconciliation bill.
One other obstacle that Biden would have to get around is Sen. Joe Manchin, who already said he won’t back a spending bill that big, and who is now reportedly saying privately that he thinks the Senate should take a “strategic pause” until 2022 before voting on it.
That would be an election year when many Democrats in swing states and districts might not be too keen to put their names on a garbage bag full of government-bloating, debt-exploding, freedom-killing “progressivism.”
Meanwhile, some far-leftists are demanding that Biden get tough with Congressional Democrats and order them to pass the bill. Considering that his approval rating is now down to the low-mid-40s and a new survey finds that 55% of voters in seven Democrat-controlled swing districts think the $3.5 trillion bill is “wasteful and unnecessary,” that doesn’t give him much leverage for threatening Congress members – unless he threatens to publicly endorse them if they don’t do what he wants.