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Covid Relief Moves Forward, Trump to Re-Emerge

The House is expected to pass President Biden’s $1.9T Covid Relief Bill tonight. The bill is being considered under the Budget Reconciliation process in order to make it possible to be considered by the Senate under rules that prohibit a filibuster by Republicans.

Last night the Senate Parliamentarian gave an advisory opinion that under the so-called Byrd Rule that governs Reconciliation in the Senate the provision to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour would not be in order. As a Senate aide when the Reconciliation process was being developed it seemed to me that increasing the minimum wage was beyond the scope of Reconciliation. The process was developed to make it easier to make budget decisions on an expedited process, and in the Senate avoid filibusters. To be eligible for Reconciliation a matter had to have a direct budget impact either with changes to spending levels or revenue. President Biden, a Senate veteran, had hinted that while he favored the increase he had doubts if it would be ruled eligible under Reconciliation.

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