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Schumer Pushes for BBB Act Vote by Christmas

Schumer is eager to pass the bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told his caucus this week he still intends to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion social spending and climate bill by Christmas, though not all Senate Democrats have endorsed the package.

Schumer is eager to pass the bill, titled the Build Back Better Act, by Dec. 25 in order to prevent an interruption in the monthly child tax credit payments that the White House and many Democrats consider crucial to their economic agenda. The last payment under current law will be distributed Dec. 15. Democrats may also be worried that momentum on the package could stall if it isn’t finished by the end of the year.

“We’re down to just a small number of issues,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) this week. “We’re all here. The people who are intensely involved are negotiating almost around the clock. Another month, another three months is not going to make this any easier. It’s time for us to cut our final deals.”

While Schumer has the vast majority of Senate Democrats on board with the BBB Act timeline, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would prefer a “strategic pause” on the package to consider the raising rate of inflation and whether all of the spending in the bill is truly needed.

“We have to make sure we get this right,” Manchin said at an event this week. “We can’t just continue to flood the market as we’re doing.”

Schumer said Democrats are still having conversations with the Senate parliamentarian, who provides guidance on what can be included in a bill passed through budget reconciliation. Other issues in the package that still need buy-in from the full Democratic caucus include paid family and medical leave and relief from the state and local tax deduction (SALT), currently capped at $10,000. The House-passed version of the BBB Act expanded the SALT cap to $80,000, and Democrats from high-tax states are adamant that SALT relief stays in the bill.

This article was provided to OSAP by ASAE's Power of A and Inroads.

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