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US Senate should strive for consensus, not partisanship – Press Enterprise – California News Times


The US Senate is on the verge of passing $ 3.5 trillion, the largest budget in US history, voted only by Democratic senators.

The clauses that may be included include:

  • Expanding the benefits of Medicare while lowering the eligibility age
  • Offering free community college tuition,
  • Expand higher Medicaid benefits in states that opt ​​out of these higher levels under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”)
  • We provide free pre-kindergarten meals and free school meals for everyone, regardless of income.
  • Abolish the 1947 “labor rights” clause of federal labor law, forcing non-members to pay unions.
  • Demanding employers to provide free family and medical leave,
  • Enacted many other policy priorities, both traditional and far-left of the Democratic Party,
  • And tax increases for businesses and individuals who earn more than $ 400,000 to pay for new spending.

Senate rules allow any provision that affects spending or revenue to be included in the budget adjustment bill, thus avoiding Republican filibuster.

There are exceptions. Named after former Democratic Rule Committee chairman Robert Byrd, the “Bird Rule” is named after “a measure that produces a budgetary effect that accompanies out-of-budget policy changes.”

This exception was applied in February last year to exclude the federal minimum wage increase from the 2021 fiscal year budget package.

Increasing the minimum wage can affect tax revenues (increasing taxes from high-paying individual employees, reducing taxes from employees who lose their jobs, decreasing taxes from declining employers) ) But the actual import was not a budget.

Assuming Senators resist the fierce pressure from the Senate Democratic left, many provisions of today’s budget bill could fall before the same reason.

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For example, the abolition of the right-to-work law has been under the Democratic Platform for almost 75 years. “Out-of-budget policy changes” are to support unions that support the Democratic Party. The impact on the budget is at best accidental.

However, legislation this way has more fundamental problems than bird rules.

Is it wise that so many different major policy changes are adopted by only a small majority?

That’s what Democrats currently have. It is the edge of 9 out of 435 in the House of Representatives and 50-50 in the Senate (Vice President Kamala Harris breaks the tie).

In July 2017, Senator John McCain of Arizona voted against the Republican bill to abolish Obamacare. Republican Senate leaders and President Donald Trump used budget adjustments to avoid the efforts of Democratic Senators in filibuster and allow for a simple majority vote.

Senator McCain’s vote was not based on his admiration for Obamacare. He stood on another principle: this kind of high-impact legislation should not be passed by a simple party-line vote. He retained that view, even though Obamacare itself passed a purely party-line vote. Then, on the 30th of 31 years in the Senate, McCain’s stance reflected respect for the deliberative nature of the US Senate, which was designed by the founders to better reflect the homes of the two parliaments.

U.S. Senate should strive for consensus, not partisanship – Press Enterprise Source link U.S. Senate should strive for consensus, not partisanship – Press Enterprise



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