Schumer: ‘Goal’ is to pass Biden spending bill before Christmas

U.S.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., together with other Democratic Party leaders speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(The Hill) — Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday said that he will bring President Biden‘s spending bill to the Senate floor once the parliamentarian finishes reviewing it and that it is his “goal” to pass the roughly $2 trillion bill by the end of the year. 

“Once this necessary work is completed with the parliamentarian, I will bring the president’s Build Back Better legislation to the floor so we can pass it as soon as possible and send it to the president’s desk,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

“Our goal continues to be to get this done before Christmas,” he added. 

Schumer’s comments come after the House passed the climate and social spending bill before a weekslong Thanksgiving break.

But the bill faces hurdles in the Senate, where Democrats’ 50-seat majority leaves them with no room for error and needing total unity plus Vice President Harris in the chair to break a tie in order to both start debate on the bill and pass it.

Lawmakers are facing an end-of-year crunch, with a backed-up legislative to-do list, including funding the government, raising the debt ceiling and passing a mammoth defense bill that is currently stuck in limbo because of a stalemate on voting on potential changes.

Schumer didn’t specify what week he’ll try to bring the climate and social spending bill to the floor. Democrats are holding talks this week with the Senate parliamentarian, who offers guidance on whether provisions in the bill comply with Senate budget rules that govern what can be included. 

Congress also faces a Dec. 3 deadline to fund the government, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that it needs to raise the nation’s borrowing limit by Dec. 15. 

Even as Schumer vowed on Monday to pass the bill by the end of the year, he doesn’t yet have a lock on the 50 votes needed to bring it up and pass it.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., haven’t said if they support the legislation, while other Senate Democrats acknowledge they haven’t yet read the House bill. 

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