Schumer wants BBB bill completed by Christmas

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. says he wants the approximate $1.7 billion infrastructure bill, the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5326), completed by Christmas but setbacks in the Senate’s December legislative agenda and resistance from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.VA. could easily push action beyond that date and possibly into 2022. Some Senators are already saying they expect to be in session over Christmas.

The Democratic leader privately said he wants the bill on the Senate floor the week of Dec. 13 but acknowledged that Manchin’s resistance to the overall cost of the bill and the Senate Parliamentarian’s review of the legislative text could delay that plan. In addition, the Senate is not moving as fast as expected on a must pass Defense bill and is facing a vote this week on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded after Dec. 3 when current funding runs out. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD. said on Nov. 30 that a CR could be on the House floor as early as Dec. 1. Both parties have said they do not want a federal government shutdown.

Adding to Democratic woes is the need to address the debt limit which Treasury has said will need to be increased by a Dec. 15 deadline. Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. continue to discuss the debt limit but have not reached an agreement on when and how it will be set.