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Infrastructure, Reconciliation, Debt Ceiling Will Make Fall Very Busy

This Fall, Congress will have to simultaneously move three major pieces of legislation: infrastructure, budget reconciliation process and an increase to the debt ceiling, laying the ground work for an incredibly jam packed fall in the policy space.

This summer, the Senate voted in a bipartisan manner to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal inclusive of funding to repair roads and bridges, address climate change and improve digital broadband. Since then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has since committed to vote on the bipartisan bill by September 27th, 2021. You can read more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal here.

The second major piece of this fall’s policy debate will be the $3.5 trillion budget resolution.

What do we know, and what can we expect from the budget resolution?

At this point, many of the details of the budget are unclear, given that there is still not any formal legislative text for the budget. However, we do know that the House and Senate provided instructions directing committees to craft a bill that would spend up to $3.5 trillion.

Here are some of the major elements included in the instructions:

  • The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship received an instruction of $25 billion to make investments in small business access to credit, investment, and markets
  • The Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee received an instruction of $726 billion to make investments in universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, child care for working families, tuition-free community college, funding for historically black colleges and universities and an expansion of the Pell Grant for higher education.
  • The Senate Agriculture Committee received an instruction of $135 billion to address forest fires, reduce carbon emissions and address drought concerns 
  • The House Committee on Small Business received an instruction of $17.5 billion
  • The House Education and Labor Committee received an instruction of $779.5 billion
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee received an instruction of 486.5 billion 
  • We anticipate that the budget resolution will be a long and arduous process. While Speaker Pelosi is prioritizing a vote on the Infrastructure Bill by September 27th.

To learn more about the Senate Reconciliation instructions, you can read this memo summarizing Senate instructions. The House instructions remain vague, though you can review this spending by committee breakdown to learn more.

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