Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center has long supported legislative processes that allow congressional committees to debate legislation in an effort to create durable policy solutions. It is the only way for the two political parties to come together on our country’s biggest spending priorities.
As we saw with the Senate’s passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, bipartisanship requires compromise, patience, and a willingness to reach across the aisle for the good of the country. Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent years, Republicans used reconciliation to avoid regular order to put forth a series of tax cuts during both the Bush and Trump administrations. Democrats are now pursuing using reconciliation for an estimated $3.5 trillion dollar spending plan, which if passed at that level would be the greatest expansion of federal government programs and services in more than 60 years.
The reconciliation process was not designed for policy reform and changes achieved through reconciliation are less durable. Short-circuiting regular order may be expedient, but it enables the partisan repeal of the same programs.
While BPC opposes either party’s use of reconciliation to avoid regular order, we expect the Democrats to adhere to their pledge of paying for their spending proposal.
BPC supports priorities like extending family tax credits, supporting paid family leave, and funding clean energy programs, which have a history of bipartisan support that will not be apparent in the partisan process of reconciliation. Despite this reality, BPC believes that policy ideas with a history of broad ideological support will best serve the national interest and should be the focus of the Biden administration’s agenda and commitment to represent all Americans.
We will continue to speak out in support of bipartisan policies and priorities, while continuing to support Congress legislating by regular order to make lasting changes that will shape our country and improve the lives of its citizens.