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Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough issued an opinion Monday that could allow Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process again in fiscal year 2021, a spokesman for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) said

Why it matters: The opinion increases the number of pathways for advancing President Biden’s agenda without having to end the filibuster.

  • Schumer's top policy aides argued that revising this year's budget could "trigger an additional set of reconciliation instructions," which would allow for further 50-50 votes that are decided by Vice President Harris.
  • The "conventional wisdom is that Democrats have just one more shot at reconciliation this year, and this route would give them at least one more," Axios' Mike Allen writes.

The big picture: The parliamentarian's decision means Senate Democrats could potentially pass legislation like the American Jobs Plan with a simple majority rather than 60 votes, which would require 10 Republican votes.

What they're saying: "The Parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions. This confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues," a spokesperson for Sen. Schumer said.

  • "While no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward using Section 304 and some parameters still need to be worked out, the Parliamentarian’s opinion is an important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed.”

Go deeper

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

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