GOP senators are set to file a series of amendments in opposition to the Democrat budget agenda, as senators continue debate on the 2021 budget resolution using the budget “reconciliation” process.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-N.C.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) filed an amendment to ensure taxes are not increased during the course of a pandemic for small businesses and another was filed by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who want to ensure that relief checks do not go to illegal aliens.
In particular, Rubio’s amendment aims to stop Democrats from increasing taxes on small businesses during the pandemic through budget reconciliation, the tool Democrats can use to bypass bipartisan CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief legislation.
The budget reconciliation process allows congressional Democrats to pass tax and spending bills by a simple majority vote. Rubio and Lankford point out that in 2020 Congress was able to pass five separate relief bills without budget reconciliation.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, reconciliation is a special legislative process called to quickly advance high-priority fiscal legislation. Created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, reconciliation allows for expedited consideration of certain tax, spending, and debt-limit legislation. In the Senate, reconciliation bills aren’t subject to filibuster and the scope of amendments is limited, giving this process real advantages for enacting controversial budget and tax measures.
“Today, Senators Tim Scott, James Lankford, and I are offering our colleagues a chance to once again prioritize our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees by committing to not increase taxes on them during a pandemic,” Rubio said in a Thursday press statement. “It is clear that Democrats in Congress intend to pursue a radical agenda full of left-wing priorities, but it is common sense to ensure small businesses do not face tax hikes while they are struggling to keep their doors open during this public health crisis.”
Republicans are opposed to Democrats using reconciliation to push through the next stimulus package and are preparing to start a process called a vote-a-rama, in which any senator is allowed to file an amendment to the resolution, extending the debate and vote time.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the resolution a “partisan rush job” and had this to say about the budget reconciliation process: “We’ll be discussing the facts… Senate Republicans will be ready and waiting with a host of amendments to improve the rushed procedural step that’s being jammed through.”
He added: “We’ll be getting senators on the record about whether taxpayers should fund checks for illegal immigrants… whether Democrats should raise taxes on small businesses in the midst of this historic crisis… and whether generous federal funding should pour into school districts where the unions refuse to let schools open. And this is just a small taste.”
Meanwhile, Young and Cotton say they do not want any future economic Impact Payments or similar direct stimulus payments to go to those who break laws and enter the U.S. illegally, and so will introduce their amendments during the vote-a-rama.
“Economic Impact Payments were intended to provide a lifeline to Americans struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic. They were not intended for people who are in our country illegally,” said Young. “Our amendment would ensure that people who break our immigration laws aren’t receiving taxpayer-funded handouts.
Cotton added that checks should not be given to illegal immigrants, but instead “President [Joe] Biden should use that money to aid American schools, businesses, and families.”