The Senate sealed the deal on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Tuesday, sending it to the House. But their work is far from over, especially since Democrats in the lower chamber are eagerly anticipating the Senate's passage of a separate, but related $3.5 trillion budget proposal.
While Democrats are aiming to pass that without Republican support via reconciliation, the process won't be quick. On Tuesday, the Senate is focusing only on the budget resolution, which sets the guidelines for the final reconciliation bill. The latter, RollCall notes, won't be debated until September at the earliest — because House Democrats won't vote on the infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill too, that means the former isn't yet sailing toward President Biden's desk.
Tuesday's process includes what Washington insiders refer to as a vote-a-rama, in which senators will tee up several amendments to the resolution for non-binding votes. The process could go on for hours, although it's likely nothing compared to the scene that will unfold when the reconciliation bill is on the table.
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All told, there really isn't much Republicans can do to stop the resolution from advancing on a party line vote, so Tuesday's votes are mainly political. As CNN puts it, the amendments theoretically "serve as a way for each party to force the other side on the record about controversial issues."
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