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Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on Tuesday, 220-212, advancing the party’s effort to pass a sweeping economic package that would expand the nation’s social safety net.

Why it matters: Democrats now will be able to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a bill — likely later this fall — by a simple majority, tackling key priorities like health care, child care and climate change.

  • The budget resolution — passed as a rule that also set up floor action on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and advances voting rights legislation — came as part of a deal between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and moderates. The deal is key to advancing Democrats' top three priorities.
  • The budget bill is one part of a process set up to enact President Biden’s landmark domestic legislation.
  • The reconciliation process means a bill can pass without support from Republicans, who have already voiced their opposition.

Between the lines: The budget was passed after days of infighting among Democrats over the order in which they would pass both the resolution and a rule to proceed on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

  • Moderates fought to pass the bipartisan bill first, while progressives, backed by Pelosi, insisted that both bills would need to be passed simultaneously. All 10 moderates voted for the budget.

What’s next: There is still a long road ahead before Democrats will vote on or pass a final budget resolution.

  • The working date to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill is Sept. 27.
  • It is unlikely that the reconciliation bill, which is still in the process of being drafted through different congressional committees, will be written by then.
  • Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) have publicly expressed concern over the price tag of the reconciliation bill, and their votes are critical to passage.
  • Because Democrats can’t spare a single member, this could mean they will need to pare down the bill before it is brought to a vote.

Go deeper: Senate Democrats release $3.5 trillion budget resolution

Go deeper

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

15 hours ago - Health

Democrats' case for prioritizing health care policies

Expand chart
Reproduced from Hart Research Associates; Chart: Axios Visuals

Health care advocates are making the case that the pieces of Democrats' legislative agenda that lower health care costs and expand coverage are the most popular with voters — and should thus be prioritized.

Why it matters: Democrats are trying to figure out what topline spending number they have to work with for their reconciliation package. The lower that number goes, the more the party will have to cut from the package.

Sep 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats propose raising debt ceiling through midterms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House and Senate leadership announced on Monday that they plan to attach a proposal to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022 to a short-term, government funding bill. The bill must pass before the end of the month or Congress risks a shutdown.

Why it matters: Democrats are taking a huge risk by trying to force through an increase of the debt limit in its must-pass funding bill. The move is wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats who are hoping they can get at least 10 centrist Republicans to balk, as well as an effort to put Republicans on record opposing it.