Speed Reads

A christmas miracle?

Can the Senate pass the Build Back Better bill before Christmas?

In a Monday "Dear Colleague" letter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reiterated his goal for the Senate to finish and pass the Build Back Better bill "before Christmas and get it to the president's desk." But with Christmas Eve only 18 days away, can Democrats pull it off? Here's why Schumer's goal might be more optimistic than it appears, per Politico.

For one thing, four of the 12 Senate committees working to draft the bill have yet to submit final text to the Parliamentarian, "which needs to consider whether any provisions violate the Byrd rule; to the Congressional Budget Office, which needs to score the legislation; and to Senate Republicans, who will be sure to scrub it for political landmines," Politico writes. 

On top of that, the Senate will also be dedicating time this week to nominations from President Biden and National Defense Authorization Act negotiations, for which Schumer on Monday told senators to "prepare for potential weekend votes."

Simultaneously, the death of former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas), for whom there will be services at the Capitol this week, may cause some "legislative delay," writes Politico. And if that weren't enough, Congress still needs to address the debt ceiling by Dec. 15, and buffer in enough time for the reconciliation bill to return to the House for yet another vote, considering it's highly unlikley the Senate passes the House version without any changes.

Phew — on that note, godspeed.