Schumer wants Senate votes soon on Biden’s domestic agenda

Jul 9, 2021, 8:27 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, T...

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 24, 2021. A bipartisan group of lawmakers have negotiated a plan to pay for an estimated $1 trillion compromise plan. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday he wants his chamber to vote on pivotal budget and infrastructure legislation before lawmakers break for their August recess, and warned he may delay that summer break to allow more time for work on President Joe Biden’s top domestic goals.

In a letter to his colleagues, Schumer, D-N.Y., also said Democrats “stand ready to expeditiously fill any potential vacancies on the Supreme Court should they arise,” a clear reference to the possibility that liberal-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, might retire. He also wrote that the Senate might vote again on Democratic legislation liberalizing voting procedures, which Republicans blocked last month.

Schumer’s plans underscore the priority his party is giving to Biden’s push to pump trillions of dollars into building roads, pipelines and other infrastructure projects, as well as bolstering health care, services for families, programs combating climate change and other initiatives.

The letter highlights the time pressure Democrats face as they try to enact those bills. Republicans are expected to vote solidly against most of Biden’s domestic legislation, and Democrats will need virtual unanimity to push the measures through the closely divided Congress. Gaining that unity will take time and will only get harder as the 2022 election campaigns approach.

“Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do,” Schumer wrote. “Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period.”

The first hurdle for Schumer and the Democrats is for Congress to approve a budget resolution. The budget would then let them push a massive spending bill through the Senate without facing a GOP filibuster.

That spending bill — a pillar of Biden’s domestic agenda — would finance health care, family, climate and other programs. It would be partly paid for with tax boosts on the wealthy and corporations, as well as expected savings from allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

Republicans are expected to solidly oppose Biden’s domestic spending spending bill. It would take 60 votes to end GOP delaying tactics — a virtually impossible hurdle for Democrats in the 50-50 chamber. That’s why Democrats first need to approve a budget resolution.

Separately, Biden and 21 senators from both parties have also agreed to a framework for yet another measure, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. Schumer hopes the Senate will approve that bill before departing for recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said her chamber won’t consider the bipartisan infrastructure measure until Democrats have written their separate bill for family, climate and other programs.

As if the budget, infrastructure and domestic agenda weren’t enough, a potential Supreme Court vacancy could also be in the mix. Liberals have been eager for Breyer to retire so Biden and the Democrat-controlled Senate could select a replacement for a court that tilts 6-3 toward the right. Congressional Democrats have been reluctant to pressure Breyer overtly to step down, and he has given no indication that he will leave.

The Senate is currently scheduled to begin a summer recess after the week of Monday Aug. 2. Threats by congressional leaders to curtail recesses are common, but Schumer’s illustrates the pressures his party faces.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This image filed May 15, 2019 in federal court as part of a forfeiture complaint by the U.S. attorn...
Associated Press

Long-missing Alexander Hamilton letter put on public display

BOSTON (AP) — A letter written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 and believed stolen decades ago from the Massachusetts state archives is going back on display — though not exactly in the room where it happened. The founding father’s letter will be the featured piece at the Commonwealth Museum’s annual July Fourth exhibit, Secretary of […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

31 bodies, some decomposing, found at Indiana funeral home

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Police are investigating after more than 30 bodies, some decomposing, were found inside a southern Indiana funeral home. Police in the Louisville suburb of Jeffersonville responded to Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center on Friday evening and found 31 bodies, including some some “in the advanced stages of decomposition,” Maj. Isaac […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Key players granted bail in Buffalo Billion corruption case

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has granted bail to a prominent Buffalo developer and other businessmen serving prison time for a bid-rigging scheme related to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic redevelopment program. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni signed an order Friday allowing developer Louis Ciminelli and three others to be released […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

DA: Late officer justified in accidental shooting death

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania prosecutor has ruled that a late police sergeant was justified in using deadly force that resulted in the accidental shooting death of a jail guard during a hostage situation at a county courthouse last fall. Authorities said an inmate had been taken from the Blair County jail to the […]
11 hours ago
This image released by Bleecker Street shows Freida Pinto, left, and Zawe Ashton in a scene from "M...
Associated Press

‘Minions’ set box office on fire with $108.5 million debut

Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. ” Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million. The […]
11 hours ago
Sheletta Brundidg, left, her son Brandon, center, and NASCAR driver Brandon Brown gather Saturday, ...
Associated Press

Boy helps Brown put new spin on ‘Let’s go, Brandon’ chant

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult President Joe Biden. Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an 8-year-old boy with autism. Brandon […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Schumer wants Senate votes soon on Biden’s domestic agenda