Former President Donald Trump accused Democrats on Wednesday of attempting to radically transform the country through an obscure congressional budget rule.
Mr. Trump, in particular, argued that Democratic leaders are subverting the budget reconciliation process to pass liberal priorities strictly along party lines.
“Republicans must take seriously the effort by Democrats to completely change America through the reconciliation process,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.
Reconciliation allows spending-related legislation to pass via a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate. Normally, most legislation requires at least 60 votes to overcome a potential filibuster.
Given that the Senate is evenly split between the two parties, Democrats are eyeing reconciliation to push through several bills that cannot garner broad bipartisan support.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York is preparing to use the tactic to ram through a $3.5 trillion social spending package. The legislation is crammed with liberal priorities, such as job training for felons and free community college, that Democrats have labeled “human infrastructure.”
“The infrastructure package has little to do with infrastructure as we know it, bridges, roads, tunnels, etc., but is a dramatic expansion of government that will cost much more than the $3.5 trillion being discussed,” Mr. Trump said. “Don’t let this happen!”
Although details are sparse, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernard Sanders has described the deal as a “bold and robust” expansion of the social safety net.
“I think we are making progress in moving forward with the most consequential piece of legislation passed for working people since the 1930s,” said Mr. Sanders, an avowed socialist from Vermont. “And it is legislation which is finally going to ask the wealthy and large corporations to start paying their fair share.”
Two especially heated proposals deal with immigration and an overhaul of the voting process.
Mr. Sanders has pledged that the reconciliation bill will include a pathway for citizenship for “farmworkers, individuals with temporary protected [migrant] status,” and illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Similarly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has said that the reconciliation package will include changes to federal voting laws.
Mr. Trump, though, lambasted the notion that amnesty or an electoral overhaul should be allowed to pass via reconciliation. The former president, in particular, argued that both issues only served to benefit the political goals of Democrats.
“I urge every Republican to fight this and deny Democrats a quorum if that is what it takes to make sure that the Democrats can’t use reconciliation,” he said. “Republicans must push back for the sake of our country and, far less importantly, the sake of the Republican Party!”
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