It would be a way around what Biden’s aides feared to be entrenched Republican opposition to the amount of pandemic aid they believed needed, and then a way to carry out his long-term economic program of spending on roads. , bridges, water pipes, energy cleaning, child care, education and more.
But the administration has seen firsthand that the process won’t work for all of its priorities: Ms MacDonough threw a provision to raise the federal minimum wage for Mr Biden’s relief program because she felt it was against the rules budgetary. Activists argue that legalizing some unauthorized immigrants would affect the budget by making them eligible for government benefits and increasing tax revenue, but it is not clear whether the parliamentarian would allow it as part of a reconciliation.
Mr. Schumer and Mr. Sanders stressed that they had not committed to a particular strategy of reusing reconciliation. Determining how Democrats prioritize and rank their legislative priorities, said Sanders, “is a difficult question we grapple with every day.”
White House officials insist, publicly and privately, that Mr. Biden is committed to pursuing a bipartisan deal with Republicans on his infrastructure plan. Business groups are also keen to negotiate a deal on the issue, although they and Republicans have expressed strong opposition to the tax increases proposed by Mr Biden.
Biden continues to believe “there is a two-party path” on the issue, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday. But she left the door open to push the bill through the more partisan process.
“As you know, reconciliation is a mechanism for passing budget bills in Congress,” she said. “We will leave the mechanisms and the determination of the mechanisms to the leadership of Congress. But, for now, less than a week after announcing the U.S. jobs plan, our focus is on engaging with Democrats and Republicans, with staff, with committee staff, inviting members to the White House next week.