Cornyn Warns Dems Against Using Budget Reconciliation to Pass COVID Relief Package

As Congressional Democrats are considering using a parliamentary procedure to pass another massive round of COVID-19 relief with a simple majority in the Senate, some Republicans are urging their colleagues to reconsider taking that road. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor to allege that Congressional Democrats were trying to use budget reconciliation — which allows the Senate to pass certain bills with just 51-votes — as a “back door method to eliminate the filibuster.”

President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that would send Americans $1,400 direct payments and provide funding for vaccine distribution. However, the bill also has measures that Republicans have balked at, such as a provision to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Cornyn went on to suggest that Democrats should have “learned a lesson” about changing rules to pass legislation or approve nominees with a simple majority as he cited their decision to eliminate the judicial filibuster — which Republicans used to push through hundreds of federal judicial nominees and three Supreme Court justices with simple majority votes.

“There are inherent and perhaps unintentional consequences of changing the rules of a place where your power is never permanently guaranteed,” Cornyn said.

“Chipping away at the rights of the minority may help you now. But you’re sure to regret that someday. Just as Democrats now regret the day Harry Reid cleared an easy path for hundreds of conservative federal judges.”

Watch the video below:

He also suggested the decision on whether or not to use reconciliation to pass a relief bill will be a test of Biden’s call for bipartisan cooperation. Cornyn suggested the president could encourage Senate Democrats to work with Republicans to pass another package. 

Biden has previously said he hopes to win over Republican support for his proposed legislation. However, he said, “The COVID relief has to pass. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts.”

Biden also agreed to meet with 10 Senate Republicans on Monday to discuss their proposed COVID-19 relief package, which is a third-of his proposed bill.

If Biden can win over at least ten Republican senators and all 50 Democrats, they could pass the package without using budget reconciliation. 

However, Congressional Democrats are making preparations to use budget reconciliation to pass another relief package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filed a joint budget resolution that opens the door for Congress to use reconciliation to pass a relief bill.

“Congress must pursue a bold and robust course of action. It makes no sense to pinch pennies when so many Americans are struggling,” Schumer said in a speech on Monday.

He added, “[It] is the first step in giving Congress an additional legislative tool to quickly pass the COVID relief legislation. The resolution, if passed by both chambers of Congress, will provide instructions for the House and Senate committees to begin work.”

Responses

  1. I’m sure Democrats would use any means to gain their agenda. Democrats today are not the breed like they were in 1933-1960. They’re out of touch with the American people. They work for themselves and not American citizens. My parents were Democrats. I’m Republican and 71 years old.

    1. The R Party is not the same breed as they were in 1933-1960 either, Ron. My great-grandfather was elected county treasurer as a Republican. My grandfather was elected city alderman as a Republican. If they were alive today, they would not identify with a party that supports repeatedly lying to the American public.

    2. “They’re out of touch with the American people. They work for themselves and not American citizens.” Ron

      Oh, really! You don’t say. Well, actually, YOU DID say that, those are your words.

      Now, prove it. Name the top Democratic policies in the Democratic platform that are NOT supported by the MAJORITY of American people, overall. For what you said to be true and accurate, you need data to be able to back up your wild claim. I want numbers, buddy.

  2. The Democrats in the House and Senate. They will do anything but it may backfire.

  3. Don’t worry, John. Joke Biden’s weak administration is already caving in and lowering expectations about relief support. The American Fascists are doing their part by spreading misinformation (lies) and playing their part in punishing the middle-class and poor.

    The mainstream media is playing their part, too, not challenging the lies and misinformation. This is a three-part attack on America’s struggling citizens by neo-liberals, corrupt American Fascists being obstructionists, and the complicit media.

    1. Congress in January 2020 passed a $4 Trillion package so why is $1.9 Trillion needed?

      1. You are 71 yrs old and still falling for the Trump lies that the economy is in great shape? “The economy remains 2.46% smaller than at the end of 2019. Measuring 2020 output overall against the previous year, GDP fell 3.5% in 2020, the worst on record.” (FOX Business)

      2. $1.9 trillion is just a drop in the ocean of what the country needs, Ron. Congress members should not be trying to make the amount of support smaller and smaller and smaller. The American Fascists are trying to convince the Democrats to make the level of support to be ONE THIRD of that already minimal size! That is disgusting.

      1. Oh, as if YOU back up everything that YOU state on IJR? When did you EVER do that with real facts, dixter? When?

        What part of what I wrote are you a little, how should I say this, “thick” on?

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