Bernie Sanders says Democrats will use reconciliation to pass Biden's $2 trillion stimulus package. Here is how that would work.

Bernie Sanders says Democrats will use reconciliation to pass Biden's $2 trillion stimulus package. Here is how that would work.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks during an interview with MSNBC in the Russell Rotunda in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said in an interview on Sunday that Democrats can use budget reconciliation to pass President Joe Biden's stimulus package.
  • Although Sanders had previously criticized Republicans' usage of reconciliation, he said it is necessary now to provide urgent relief quickly to American families.
  • Both Republican and Democratic administrations in the past have used reconciliation to pass legislation through Congress.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said on Sunday that Democrats will use budget reconciliation to pass President Joe Biden's stimulus package with a simple majority in Congress.

In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Sanders said that Democrats will use reconciliation to pass Biden's $2 trillion stimulus package to quickly provide aid to families suffering during the pandemic. Without reconciliation, Republicans could use the filibuster to prevent Democrats from passing legislation, Insider previously reported, and although Sanders has criticized Republicans' usage of reconciliation in the past, he argued that with Americans needing immediate aid, this method is now necessary.

"Yes, I did criticize them for that," Sanders said to Bash. "And if they want to criticize me for helping to feed children who are hungry or senior citizens in this country who are isolated and alone and don't have enough food, they can criticize me."
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Budget reconciliation is used to resolve different legislation from the House and Senate on tax and spending bills. Reconciliation "provides a fast-track process for consideration of bills to implement the policy choices embodied in the annual congressional budget resolution," according to the House budget website.

Both Republican and Democratic administrations have used the method in the past. For example, Republicans under former President Donald Trump used reconciliation in a failed attempt to repeal Obamacare, and under former President Barack Obama, reconciliation was used to enact a companion bill to the Affordable Care Act.

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