Insights from Washington: Infrastructure & Budget Reconciliation Bill News
We expect to see a lot of activity out of Washington this week. The House Budget Committee advanced a draft version of President Biden’s tax and social spending measure over the weekend. It remains to be seen whether the package will be brought to a floor vote in the House of Representatives, as there continues to be dissenting Democratic members which could sink the bill due to the thin majority of the party. A meeting of all House Democrats is scheduled for Monday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. as party leaders continue to try to unite the party to ensure they have the votes required to pass legislation.
The Budget Committee’s role involves combining legislation from 13 other committees into one bill. No substantive changes can be made. That will come later in the process from either the Rules Committee or Democratic leaders on the floor. It is possible a vote in the House could come as soon as this week; however, insiders expect changes to the spending components will occur before a vote occurs in the Senate. Since the spending package dictates the amount of revenue required to be raised through tax increases, we expect the changes will occur to the tax portion of the package as well.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have acknowledged the price will likely come down from the current $3.5 trillion proposed. They say they have a “menu” of revenue raisers to pay for it, but no final decisions can be made until there is clarity around what initiatives will be included. A tax on unrealized gains inside the ultra-wealthy asset portfolios has been proposed for consideration as a revenue raiser by Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Finance Committee.
A separate vote on the $550 billion infrastructure bill is expected as early as Monday, September 27; however, House progressives have said they will block this bill if the larger package of social programs and tax increases does not receive a vote first.
In addition to the activity surrounding the infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation bill, the House and Senate are facing the expiration of government funding on September 30 and the need to address the debt limit. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the House will take up a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December.
We expect further information to become available throughout the week and will update you with where things stand in next week’s edition. If you have any questions, please contact us.