Senate Rules Can’t Fix This COVID Bill

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) departs after House impeachment managers rested their case in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., February 11, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Please save us, Joe Manchin.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D emocrats don’t have the votes to stop a filibuster in the Senate, so they’re pushing their nearly $2 trillion COVID-relief effort through the “budget reconciliation” process. This way, the 50 Democratic senators, with a tie-breaking vote from Kamala Harris, can get a bill to the president’s desk. Government money for everyone and a $15 minimum wage to boot!

Well, probably not that second part.

Budget reconciliation is supposed to be used for, well, budget stuff. Under the so-called Byrd rule, every item in a reconciliation bill has to directly, and not just incidentally, affect the federal budget. Last night, the Senate’s parliamentarian


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