Bernie Sanders teases power in Budget Committee role

The Vermont senator says he will use a fast-track process to pass Biden’s economic agenda where appropriate

Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday that he planned to wield his authority in a key economic committee to expedite the passage of certain items on President-Elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda.

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After the two Democratic victories in the Georgia runoff elections this month, Sanders, I-Vt., will take over the lead role in the Senate Budget Committee. On Tuesday, he said he intended to use budget reconciliation to ensure the passage or proposals designed to address the needs of working families.

Budget reconciliation allows Congress to fast-track certain tax and budget-related measures with a simple majority, allowing passage without the president’s signature. Typically, budget resolution measures need to address the deficit through spending reductions or revenue increases.

BIDEN PROMISES TO WORK CLOSELY WITH BERNIE SANDERS ON ‘SHARED' ECONOMIC AGENDA 

Proposed reconciliation measures are submitted to each congressional chamber’s budget committee.

Considering there is a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats would have to be unanimously in favor of a measure for reconciliation to push policies through without Republican support.

The process was recently used to push through a large portion of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Biden has said he will work closely with Sanders on their shared economic agenda.

“We agreed that we’ll work closely on our shared agenda of increasing worker power and to protect the dignity of work for all working people,” Biden said last week.

Biden said that his administration will pursue a $15 federal minimum wage and strongly support labor unions, which were two of the key pillars of Sanders’ presidential campaign.

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