News & Politics

Sen. Schumer Scheming to Bypass Filibuster for Third Stimulus Bill

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sometime before the end of this fiscal year on September 30, Joe Biden and the Democrats may realize their goal of massively transforming the United States.

We’re not going to be any less racist. Women will not magically stop being harassed. There will still be poor people and rich people. But the middle class will have shrunk. And the U.S. is going to be a lot poorer.

Not the government. After passing the $3 trillion “infrastructure bill” sometime this summer, another stimulus bill that would deal with “domestic priorities” will be considered. This has the potential, with the “infrastructure” bill, to cost upwards of $4 trillion.

The third stimulus measure would largely deal with taxes, health care, and education — including a possible expansion of Medicare. But the controversial nature of this bill would mean the Democrats would be forced to use reconciliation for the third time.

That’s not allowed under the rules. Or is it? Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thinks he’s found a workaround in Section 304 of the Congressional Budget Act.

Fox News:

But Schumer aides believe that Section 304 could give them the power to pass legislation using reconciliation for a third time this year, even though the process is only technically allowed to be used once every fiscal year, pointing to language that says “the two Houses may adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget which revises or reaffirms the concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year most recently agreed to.”

It’s unclear how many additional reconciliation opportunities this would give Democrats if the Senate parliamentarian greenlighted the theory, but Schumer aides believe it would offer them at least one more shot, in addition to the remaining chance that they’re planning to use to pass Biden’s Build Back Better bill.

It would be a stretch if the parliamentarian were to give Schumer what he wants. But most parliamentary tricks like this start out being a stretch and end up being the law.

But before Democrats start congratulating themselves on their cleverness, they have to convince all 50 members of their Senate caucus to go along with some pretty radical tax ideas.

The tax hikes are expected to be similarly divided; the infrastructure part of the bill would be funded by taxing corporations, including raising the corporate tax rate to 28%, increasing the global minimum tax paid from about 13% to 21%, ending federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies and forcing multinational companies to pay the U.S. tax rate rather than the lower rates offered by foreign subsidiaries, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The second part of the legislation focused on domestic priorities, meanwhile, would be paid for by increasing the highest income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%, raising taxes on wealthy investors and limiting deductions that rich taxpayers can claim annually, the Post reported.

With the United States trying to claw its way out of a huge economic and fiscal hole, this is not the time to be soaking the rich and destroying small businesses by jacking up taxes into the stratosphere. But Biden must satisfy his bloodthirsty radical base who hate the fact that some people are more successful than others and should be punished for it.