Senate Democrat: ‘Doing all these bills by reconciliation is not the right way to do it’
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on Sunday said he supports using the budget reconciliation process to bypass a Senate filibuster for the Inflation Reduction Act, but said using the process for bill after bill is “not the right way to do it,” calling for more bipartisan unity on key legislation.
Cardin told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Mike Emanuel “it would be much better if we could have a process where we work together and have the richness of every member participating in the process.”
“Let me say this: doing all these bills by reconciliation is not the right way to do it. The Republicans did it in 2017 on the tax bill,” Cardin said. “We are obligated to use this process because we can’t get Republicans to work with us on fundamental issues, such as energy, climate and health care costs.”
The Senate on Sunday afternoon passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a 755-page bill that includes major climate, tax and health care overhauls.
Vice President Harris cast the tie-breaking vote using the reconciliation process, which can be used to expedite the passage of any legislation that deals with tax, spending and debt limits, bypassing the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.
Senate Democrats this week reached a deal with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) for the Inflation Reduction Act, and spent much of the weekend killing off amendments before final passage shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Cardin on Sunday noted the bill invests $369 billion on clean energy investments and incentives, which he called a “win for our environment and a win for America clean energy.”
He also praised the legislation’s tax overhaul, which will raise more than $700 billion in revenue through a 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks, a 15 percent corporate minimum tax and lower prescription drug prices.
The senator said despite the promise of the bill, it would have been better if Republicans would work with them on the legislation.
Cardin noted several other bills that were recently passed with mostly bipartisan support — including the PACT Act, which expanded health care for veterans exposed to toxins, and the CHIPS Act, which bolstered the semiconductor industry.
“We have a good record of working together,” he told Emanuel. “Let’s work together for the American people and let’s not threaten that we’re going to shut down [the] government or do things that are wrong.”