USA-president-2020

Joe Biden's 50-50 challenge

Republicans remain poised to block most of Biden's proposals, just as much of President Barack Obama's efforts on Capitol Hill. But 50-50 control permits action on special legislation that can’t be filibustered, and momentum for the popular parts of Covid-19 relief could easily propel an early aid bill into law.

Democrats also have the opportunity to pass special budget-related legislation by a simple majority, an often-arcane process that enabled Obama to finish his 2010 health care bill and gave President Donald Trump’s GOP allies a failed chance to repeal “Obamacare” and passage of a tax overhaul bill. Biden could use this so-called budget reconciliation process to pass more controversial elements of Covid-19 relief with only Democratic votes, repeal some of Trump's tax cuts or make federal health care programs more generous.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer be majority leader once the two new Georgia senators and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are all sworn into office now has the opportunity to bring legislation to the floor and force votes.That could permit passage of $2,000 direct Covid-19 relief payments and other aid, for instance, and could mean debates on issues like police reform, immigration and climate change. But passage of such legislation would require support from Republicans, which gives the minority party enormous leverage. Republicans remain poised to block most of Biden's proposals, just as they thwarted much of President Barack Obama's efforts on Capitol Hill. But 50-50 control permits action on special legislation that can’t be filibustered, and momentum for the popular parts of Covid-19 relief could easily propel an early aid bill into law.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep


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