A person talks to a pharmacist and gets medicine.

Even with stimulus off the table, here’s how new legislation can put money in your pocket

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Whether Americans receive money directly or indirectly, every dollar helps.


the main points

  • In a surprising move, Senator Joe Manchin stood with fellow Democrats for a final round-up of the stall.
  • If Democrats can make it happen by passing President Biden’s dream bill, it could save millions of Americans even more money.

Realistically, there is no chance that Republican lawmakers will support another round of stimulus payments so close to the midterm elections. The fear is that passing another stimulus bill, even one aimed at helping the poorest Americans, will leave President Joe Biden and Democrats looking good.

It is a political fact and a reality that cannot be changed under the current makeup of the US Senate. Biden is still very close to achieving one of his most important goals: reconciliation. Here, we’ll break down how reconciliation works and how you can put more money in your pocket.

two important terms

Before we get into the details of the potential savings, let’s cover two key terms, both vital to what is currently happening in the nation’s capital.

broken

When it was first introduced in the Senate, obstruction was used primarily by Southern senators to block civil rights legislation. Since that time, it has been used to block any legislation that one party does not believe in or that legislation fears will make the other side of the aisle look good. While it was initially designed to give the minority an opportunity to explain their position, it has since become a tool for shutting down dissent.

Here’s how it works:

  • A bill is introduced in the Senate and goes to a committee.
  • Once the committee is done, the bill heads to the Senate floor for a vote.
  • Before a vote is held, senators discuss the bill.
  • Once the bill is debated, the Senate leader requests unanimous agreement to end the debate and move to a vote.
  • Any Senator can object.
  • Once an objection is made, the only way forward is for the Senate leader to make a motion to end the debate.
  • Now, here’s where things get tough. It usually requires a bill to pass by a simple majority in the Senate (since there are 100 senators, 51 votes would suffice). However, it takes 60 votes to close the debate and allow a bill to be voted on.
  • If fewer than 60 senators agree to end the debate (referred to as a “throat”), the bill is “frozen” and dies on the vine.

There are currently 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. To beat the stall, it takes 10 senators to vote with the other party—a feat almost never achieved due to pressure from their parties.

This is where reconciliation comes in.

reconciliation

Although the use of a disable tool can be repugnant, there is only one vulnerability designed to neutralize this practice. It is a special parliamentary procedure called “budget adjustment”. The word budget is particularly important here, because to get the hold of the process, legislators must ensure that their bill is linked to budget legislation. This may include dealing with federal history, changing tax laws, or anything else related to money.

Just this week, Senator Joe Manchin approved the outlines of a new reconciliation bill — a bill that would allow the Senate to bypass the block and pass the legislation by a simple majority of 51 votes. In the case of a 50/50 vote, it appears that reconciliation can indeed occur.

How can this put money in your pocket

If many items are passed on Biden’s wish list, it could become a reality. Here are the three most likely to affect the average American:

  1. Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. The president has always said, “No one should choose between paying for life-saving medicines or putting food on the table.” If you’re an American and find yourself worrying about how you’re going to pay for your prescription drugs, you may find yourself with extra money in your bank account each month.
  2. Raise taxes on large corporations. According to economists cited in A rolling rock Article, The middle class was hurt by Trump’s 2017 tax cut. Although the average American saw a small drop in payroll taxes, the biggest cuts were given to the richest Americans, millionaires, and billionaires who didn’t need the money to pay for medical expenses or buy shoes for their kids. This popular part of the bill could result in lower taxes for citizens.
  3. Green energy tax incentives. While there are climate change deniers, almost every famous scientist in the world agrees that the Earth is warming at an alarming rate. This bill aims to do something about it while also paving the way for savings. According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), cutting greenhouse gases can save money by making us less likely to get sick. The NRDC study shows that climate-related health issues cost $10 billion annually, as people seek more medical care for conditions such as COPD and asthma. Clean energy means less pollution and fewer trips to the emergency room.

The fact that Joe Manchin – one of the largest coal-producing states in the US – supports reconciliation struck like an earthquake. And Manchin could still back off. But if he continues down the path, we may all be on our way to an opportunity to save even more money.

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