COMPASS: Democrats prepare $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill

September 7th, 2021

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill. I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing Labor Day, and shana tova to all our friends observing Rosh Hashanah.

Congress remains in recess, though House committees continue to mark up and debate Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, which takes a cradle to grave approach to reshaping the relationship between citizens and the government. That legislation, once finalized, is expected to be considered by both the House and the Senate later this month.

In the Senate, reconciliation legislation is privileged and thus not subject to a filibuster and can pass at a majority vote. Democrats currently have 50 votes in the Senate (with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break a tie). However, Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have signaled they are both uncomfortable supporting the $3.5 trillion bill. Moderate Democrats in the House have expressed discomfort as well.

Meanwhile, reactions continue to roll in around the country to a new pro-life law passed in Texas, which prohibits abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, around six weeks of pregnancy. The bill relies on private enforcement, granting private citizens the right to sue someone who knowingly aids a woman in obtaining an abortion in Texas. (The woman herself cannot be sued under the new law.) Nathanael Blake explains today in The Federalist why the pro-life movement should celebrate this effort.

Parts of corporate America, however, are having a collective meltdown. The ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft — which continue to actively oppose policies requiring them to provide health insurance for their drivers — have announced they will cover the legal costs of any drivers who are sued under the law. (It is unlikely the law would apply to rideshare drivers, as they would be unlikely to “knowingly” transport a woman seeking an abortion.) Lyft will also make a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider.

The web hosting service GoDaddy deplatformed Texas Right to Life for allowing citizens to report violators of the law. John Gibson, the CEO of the video game developer Tripwire Interactive, was fired for tweeting his support of the Texas law. The city of Portland, Oregon, announced it will ban “trade and travel” with the state of Texas. Attorney General Merrick Garland, confirmed to his position with the votes of 20 Senate Republicans, said the Department of Justice is “urgently” exploring ways to challenge the Texas statute.

 

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One More Thing…

I’m the Tuesday editor for BRIGHT, a women-authored newsletter for The Federalist, and I have a short essay over there on the latest corporate media malfeasance that may be of interest. Also check out the latest installment from CPI’s Phil Reboli where he lays out how the Senate’s budget resolution uses your tax dollars for gun control measures.