Revising the 2021 Budget to Pass Additional Budget bills

Democrats have used the the 2021 budget reconciliation process to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. This was made possible because Congress did not pass a budget resolution last year which allows Democrats to make use of it in 2021.

Schumer plans to use the 2022 budget vehicle for individual portions Biden’s infrastructure and jobs plan. Democrats assumed the most they could do with reconciliation until next year when another budget vehicle would become available.

Unless McConnell became accommodating which seems as unlikely as a bipartisan breakthrough, Democrats would be left with multiples of bills the same as when McConnell controlled the Senate. It is also horrifically unlikely to overcome a filibuster with the 60-vote threshold in place. One has to wonder why Schumer isn’t moving on changing the filibuster.  

It appears, Democrats may have found a way to do an end run around McConnell through the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and Section 304. Section 304 allows Democrats to revise the FY21 budget resolution.


SEC. 304. At any time after the first concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year has been agreed to pursuant to section 301, and before the end of such fiscal year, the two Houses may adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget which revises the concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year most recently agreed to

Schumer is seeking a way around the legislative (McConnell) logjam as reported by multiple sources. The end result is to give Democrats one more chance to pass meaningful legislation which they can tout in 2022.

“By using Section 304, Democrats can revise the FY21 budget resolution, at least once, to trigger an additional set of reconciliation instructions,” a Schumer aide told TPM. “Such a Section 304 budget revision would also be available to revise budget resolutions for future fiscal years.”

The big “if” here is getting the approval of the Senate parliamentarian.