House Democrats to kick off $1.5 trillion spending process without budget

House Democrats to kick off $1.5 trillion spending process without budget
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House Democrats on Monday moved to advance the annual appropriations process for 2022 without a budget resolution.

House Budget Committee Chair John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats look to flip script on GOP 'defund the police' attacks Democrats hit crunch time in Biden spending fight Republican immigration proposal falls flat MORE (D-Ky.) filed with the House Rules Committee a $1.5 trillion deeming resolution, which would allow appropriators to begin writing their 12 annual spending bills.

A committee vote is expected later on Monday.

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The process would postpone the debate over a budget resolution, which Democrats are eyeing as an alternative vehicle for passing President BidenJoe BidenRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Iowa governor suggests immigrants partially to blame for rising COVID-19 cases Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on MORE's proposed jobs and families plans.

If talks with Republicans fail on infrastructure, Democrats hope to use a budget process called reconciliation to sidestep the Senate filibuster, allowing them to advance the legislation without GOP support.

In order to do that, however, they would need to carefully tailor the budget resolution to the bills they hope to pass through reconciliation, divvying up precise amounts that authorizing committees will be able to spend to match their legislative goals.

The budget itself has proven to be a fraught undertaking for Democrats in recent years, who have chosen to deem numbers instead of passing a full resolution that split moderates and progressives.

Yarmuth has said he still expects to advance a budget resolution in July, which would give the House time to start writing and advancing the appropriations bills before a final decision is reached on infrastructure.

Republicans excoriated the move on Monday.

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“It has been nearly 900 days since Democrats became the majority in the House of Representatives and during that entire time they have failed to pass anything close to a real budget," said House Budget Committee ranking member Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithTrump unhappy with Guilfoyle backing Greitens: report Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri GAO rules Biden freeze on border wall funds legal MORE (R-Mo.).

He accused Democrats of violating the 1974 Budget Act. The legislation requires a budget resolution, though such resolutions have been avoided several times in the past.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a budget watchdog, also slammed the decision, saying it would lead to significant spending increases without addressing how to pay for it.

"Deeming discretionary levels should be a last resort, not a first resort. With a unified government, Congress has absolutely no excuse for not passing a budget," she said. "This is a clear-cut failure of leadership, and it is no way to run a country."

The House spending bills, which are expected to largely conform to the outlines of President Biden's budget proposal, are likely to advance along party lines only.

The Senate, however, requires 60 votes to pass spending bills, meaning that Democrats will have to negotiate spending levels with the GOP in order to fund the government before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

Without new funding bills passed by both chambers and signed into law by the president, or a stopgap measure extending current spending levels, the government would shut down.