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A new Senate ruling provides Democrats an opening to evade GOP filibusters and approve some bills themselves — but only in cases like an economic downturn

Chuck Schumer

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A new ruling from the Senate parliamentarian could pose a roadblock for President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda and Democrats attempting to evade a Republican filibuster as they push ahead with major spending plans on health, education, and childcare.

A ruling issued last Friday from Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said there are limits to the number of times Democrats can embark on reconciliation in a given fiscal year. It’s a legislative tactic designed to approve some bills with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate, as also skirt the 60-vote threshold known details ⇒

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