U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Democrats may try to pass much of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill using a process that would bypass a Republican filibuster and could pass with a majority vote.
Biden wants Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal, but many Republicans have balked at the price tag. The Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote.
Sixty votes are needed to overcome a procedural hurdle known as a filibuster to pass legislation.
Reconciliation allows major legislation to pass the Senate on a simple majority.
“We can get a lot of the COVID bill done with reconciliation, and that’s something we certainly will use if they try to block this immediate COVID bill,” Schumer told MSNBC.
Biden, who took office last Wednesday, campaigned on a promise to take aggressive action on the pandemic, which his Republican predecessor, President Donald Trump, often downplayed.
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.