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Bloomberg / Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to formally trigger the budget reconciliation process on Wednesday, setting Democrats up to ram the White House's American Jobs and Family Plans through the Senate via a simple majority vote in July.

Why it matters: Announcing this strategy now could be dangerous to the group of 20 bipartisan lawmakers trying to hash out a deal on the "hard" infrastructure portion of President Biden's package.

  • Some of the Republicans in the group may be less keen on continuing negotiations knowing they plan to force the more progressive parts of Biden's plan through a partisan process regardless of a deal.
  • It will also be harder to convince GOP senators on the outside to get on board with a potential compromise.

Driving the news: Schumer will convene a meeting Wednesday with all 11 Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee and will urge them to have the budget resolution — what he's labeling a “Unity Budget” — ready to be presented to the conference in early July.

  • He hopes to pass it by the end of the month.
  • Schumer said he also plans to bring a scaled-down infrastructure package to the Senate floor in July under regular order.

Details: The resolution is expected to include clean energy tax incentives, clean vehicle rebates and money for farmers and manufacturers to put toward energy-saving measures, among other provisions, a senior Democratic aide said.

  • Biden's Family Plan — which includes increased childcare, expanded health care, free community college, and universal Pre-K — will also be in it.
  • "Schumer will say that the Families plan proposal from the President is essential to the Resolution, will not be supported by Republicans, and must be robustly funded in Reconciliation,"

Our thought bubble: The aide's comments, which specifically mention the climate provisions, come after multiple Senate Democrats have recently insisted they will not support an infrastructure package that lacks aggressive measures to cut carbon emissions.

Go deeper: Biden's Plan B could be a bust

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot debt-limit options

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer leave the U.S. Capitol this week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are working on a short-term funding bill — which needs to pass before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — that includes a debt-limit increase.

Why it matters: The country will default on its debt in October for the first time in U.S. history if Congress doesn't increase the federal debt limit. Republicans and Democrats have entered a standoff — daring the other side to blink.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

First look: Greens seek K Street wedge on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Environmentalists are pressing big companies with lofty climate goals to split with their lobbying associations over sweeping Democratic legislation that includes major new clean energy spending and tax incentives.

Driving the news: A suite of climate groups just released an open letter to two dozen companies — including Apple, Walmart, Coca-Cola and Amazon — in the Business Roundtable, which has voiced several concerns about Democrats' wider spending and tax package.

Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The debt ceiling stare down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is fast approaching its deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk defaulting on the nation's debt, and, as of now, there's no serious plan to stave off what many members are calling the worst-case scenario.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt. If Congress doesn't take "extraordinary measures" to finance the government, it would "likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week.