News Briefs: Marketplace Subsides Are Up for Discussion in Senate

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), the centrist Democrat who has almost singlehandedly stalled the party’s congressional agenda, said on July 15 that he would consider extending marketplace subsidies only if they do not contribute — in his view — to inflation, according to press reports. Manchin holds a quasi-veto over most elements of the Democrats’ agenda. Democrats hold control of the Senate by a single vote — with the chamber split 50-50 between the two parties, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tiebreaking votes in her constitutional role as President of the Senate. That is the way Democrats must pass most of their legislation, because Republicans would use the filibuster to block most progressive bills. A 60-vote majority is needed to bypass the filibuster, which means only bills with broad support across both parties could make it through the upper chamber outside budget reconciliation. Budget reconciliation is an arcane procedure that allows the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority, so long as the bill in question relates largely, in the Senate parliamentarian’s judgment, to the budget.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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