WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats were locked in a debate on Monday on a package price tag that included climate regulations, childcare and other programs they plan to squeeze out of the chamber this year without GOP support.
After a two-week break in Washington, Democrats in the Senate Committee on Budgets are now trying to agree to a general price tag a colossal legislative package they hope to go through a special budgetary process called conciliation later this year. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., who is due to meet with Democrats in the committee earlier this week, said he hopes to pass a budget resolution setting out its parameters before the House leaves for the August break.
“The discussions have been going on almost around the clock,” said Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, D-Ore, as well as a member of the Committee on Budgets, in an interview on Monday. When he was on a break in Oregon, where fires and high heat were celebrating the state, “everyone wants to know what’s going to happen,” he said. “There are a lot of problems to solve.”
If Democrats can stay united, it would allow them to pass legislation simply by a simple majority in the 50-50-50 Senate, rather than the 60 votes ahead of most bills. However, more centrist and liberal Democrats are still divided over the size of the budget package, as well as how much of it should be paid by other revenues, including tax increases.
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