Democrats Strip GOP Amendments in Passing Budget Resolution

February 11, 2021 Updated: February 11, 2021

After passing a handful of GOP amendments to the Democrat-led budget resolution, many of them were canceled in a last-minute effort led by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Among the amendments that were canceled were bills that prevent illegal immigrants from getting the $1,400 relief checks, a bill to prohibit the halting of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, and a third that opposes a fracking ban.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said recently that the Democrat’s reversal on the key amendments shows they do not want to work in a bipartisan manner.

“But—amazingly enough—at the end of the night, the very same Senate Democrats who’d sought to appear moderate by supporting those three things turned around and voted in lockstep to strip them out. Our colleagues who said they supported these changes voted to strip them right back out at the end of the night. That’s about as Washington D.C. as it gets,” McConnell said.

The new version of the budget resolution passed in a marathon session that began on Thursday and finished early Friday. The vote passed 51–50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote to help Democrats approve the measure. This amended version of the budget will go back to the House for a vote.

By executive order, Biden called for the halting of the Keystone XL Pipeline as part of his plan to address climate change during his first week in office.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) told The Epoch Times on Jan. 21: “Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline alone will threaten 11,000 jobs and over $1.6 billion in wages. It’s very disappointing to see this president go after hardworking Americans right out of the gate.”

Keystone XL oil pipeline
A depot used to store pipes for the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, N.D., on Jan. 25, 2017. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

On Thursday, Schumer said the budget would be amended with GOP input.

“The amendment process here today will be bipartisan and it will be open and it will be vigorous,” Schumer said in a floor speech before voting began. “Democrats and Republicans alike will have the opportunity to share their ideas. We welcome that.”

He said the amendments offered should be “good faith” amendments but not just a debate to “sharpen ephemeral partisan talking points.”

Many Republicans criticized Democrats for pushing forward with their agenda without allowing for serious input from GOP members and their constituents, including freshman Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.).

“13+ hours of deliberation & NO GOP amendments accepted, even those funding: juvenile justice programs, children in foster care, mental health services for students. Don’t be fooled, Dems have no interest in unity, but using the pandemic to promote their radical agenda,” Spartz wrote on Twitter.