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Five ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington | TheHill
7 min read
The Senate parliamentarian issued a ruling Monday night paving the way for the unlimit...
ed use of a budget procedure to bypass the legislative filibuster.

The ruling by Elizabeth MacDonough — who is largely unknown to the public — could change how Washington operates and give Democrats significant leeway to advance their agenda over the next two years.

Here are five reasons why the decision is a game changer.


Biden can potentially get a lot more done without GOP support

The most immediate change stemming from the parliamentarian's decision is that President Biden Joe BidenJoe Biden's surprising presidency The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE suddenly has more options for passing major parts of his agenda, even with a 50-50 split in the Senate, and Vice President Harris's tie-breaking vote.

"It's important because it gives us a little more flexibility — we don't have to push everything into one package," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders Bernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's infrastructure plan triggers definition debate Sunday shows - Infrastructure in the spotlight Bernie Sanders goes after Elon Musk for wanting to explore space MORE (I-Vt.) said on MSNBC on Monday night.

Budget reconciliation is a process that can sidestep a legislative filibuster, but it has to be linked to an annual budget resolution.

At the start of his term, Biden saw three opportunities to use the budget workaround. The first, using the 2021 resolution that Congress didn't bother approving before the fiscal year started in October, was used for the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The second would be tied to fiscal 2022, and a third could potentially be used next year, ahead of fiscal 2023, but before Democrats face midterm elections that could result in them losing control of either chamber in Congress.

The new ruling means that Biden can theoretically go back as many times as he wants to amend the budget resolution in order to…
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