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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on powering up clean energy jobs

On Friday, September 17, Axios Climate & Energy reporter Andrew Freedman and Energy reporter Ben Geman hosted a virtual conversation on what building a fair economy with quality clean energy jobs could look like, featuring The Honorable Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and BlueGreen Alliance executive director Jason Walsh.

Sen. Alex Padilla explained how the infrastructure bill puts forth investments toward the environment, the urgency of acting on climate change at a legislative level, and how recent climate emergencies have underscored that urgency. 

  • In response to questions about climate investments in the infrastructure bill: “We need to act with urgency, we need to act boldly, that’s half the equation. It’s okay to have questions on what the price tag is, but of equal importance is knowing that we’re doing this in a fiscally responsible way.” 
  • On garnering necessary bipartisan support for the infrastructure bill to pass: “I do believe we’re going to get to yes at the end of the day, and that end of the day is going to be in the weeks ahead, not the months ahead, because of the urgency that I just laid out.” 

Jason Walsh highlighted the important intersection between climate action and clean energy jobs, the challenges of creating high-quality jobs in the power sector, and how budget reconciliation would help to meet clean energy job goals. 

  • On addressing crises relating to job creation, economic and racial inequality, and the climate emergency: “We have the ability with budget reconciliation to advance solutions to these crises that are as mutually reinforcing and intersecting as their causes. We feel like we can’t afford not to take advantage of this opportunity.”
  • On why budget reconciliation must address the lack of high-quality clean energy jobs: “Not enough of the clean energy jobs that have been created are high quality and union. They have not been created at scale in some of the communities and parts of the country that need them the most, and the lived experience of workers dislocated from incumbent industries, coal mining and power plants, doesn’t meet any reasonable standard of fairness and justice.”

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Sep 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop - Manchin: Delay Biden plan to '22

Sen. Joe Manchin walks through the Capitol Visitor Center last week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is privately saying he thinks Congress should take a “strategic pause” until 2022 before voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social-spending package, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.

Sep 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Yellen: U.S. would be "permanently weaker" if debt limit not raised

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during an event Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday that the U.S. could face a fresh financial crisis if Congress failed to raise or suspend the country's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, but some Republican lawmakers have threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling, arguing that it would only promote more government spending.