Updated Aug 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats release $3.5 trillion budget resolution

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (D-VT) holding a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) and Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday released the full text of Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which the Senate is expected to pass without any Republican votes as early as this week.

Why it matters: Passing the resolution is the first significant step to enacting Democrats' plans to overhaul the country's climate, child care and health care laws through the budget reconciliation process.

  • A reconciliation bill can’t be filibustered and requires only a simple majority (50 votes) to pass.

What's next: Schumer also released reconciliation instructions for Senate committees to write different sections of the final spending bill as it relates to their policy areas.

  • The resolution provides a target date of Sept. 15 for the committees to submit their reconciliation legislation.

What it doesn’t include: Language that would lift the debt limit. This means Senate Democrats face an ugly fight with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans, as they'll need at least 10 GOP votes to meet the 60-vote requirement under regular order.

Details: The agreement reached by Schumer and the White House states the $3.5 trillion will be "fully offset by a combination of new tax revenues, health care savings, and long-term economic growth."

  • It also prohibits new taxes on families making less than $400,000 per year and on small businesses and family farms.

By the numbers: Here's a breakdown of how much money is allocated to each committee to enact certain policies. (Note: The list is not final and may be modified during the bill's drafting process.)

  • Finance Committee: At least $1 billion in deficit reduction. "This will provide the Committee with flexibility to make investment, revenue and offset decisions consistent with the policy recommendations," the instructions state.
    • Offsets include: corporate and international tax reform, taxing high-income individuals, IRS tax enforcement, health care savings, and a carbon polluter import fee.
  • Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: $726 billion for universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds; child care; tuition-free community college; investments in HBCUs, MSIs, HSIs, TCUs, and ANNHIs; increase the maximum Pell Grant award; school infrastructure, student success grants, and educator investments; investments in primary care; pandemic preparedness; workforce development and job training; labor enforcement and penalties; and Civilian Climate Corps funding.
  • Banking Committee: $332 billion for housing programs, including down payment and rental assistance and community investment.
  • Energy Committee: $198 billion for clean electricity; consumer rebates to weatherize and electrify homes; financing for domestic manufacturing of clean energy and auto supply chain technologies; federal procurement of energy efficient materials; climate research; hard rock mining; and Department of Interior programs.
  • Agriculture Committee: $135 billion for conservation, drought and forestry programs to help reduce carbon emissions and prevent wildfires; clean energy investments; agricultural climate research; Civilian Climate Corps funding; child nutrition; and debt relief.
  • Judiciary Committee: $107 billion for lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants and border security.
  • Commerce Committee: $83 billion for investments in technology and transportation; coastal resiliency and oceans investments; funding for the National Science Foundation.
  • The Environment and Public Works Committee: $67 billion for low-income solar and climate-friendly technologies; clean water affordability and access; EPA climate and research programs; federal investments in energy efficient buildings and green materials; Appalachian Regional Commission; investments in clean vehicles; and a methane polluter fee to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Homeland Security Committee: $37 billion for electrifying the federal vehicle fleet (USPS and non-USPS); electrifying federal buildings; improving cybersecurity infrastructure; border management investments; federal investments in green materials; and resilience.
  • Small Business Committee: $25 billion for small business access to credit, investment and markets.
  • Indian Affairs Committee: $20.5 billion for Native health, education, housing, energy and climate programs and facilities.
  • Veterans Affairs Committee: $18 billion for upgrades to VA facilities.

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