J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Democrats are trying to push the bill through a budget process known as the reconciliation, which allows Democrats to pass the legislation without the threat of Republican filibuster. All 50 Democratic senators will need to vote for the bill for it to pass, with a deciding vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
The vote on Saturday afternoon would be a procedural vote to start the debate. Up to 20 hours of debate can take place, divided equally between the two parties. It’s likely the full 20 hours won’t be necessary, as Democrats are expected to cede the majority of their time.
Then a process known as “vote-a-rama” begins, which means senators can introduce unlimited amendments to legislation. There could also be a call for the entire 725-page bill to be read aloud.
Schumer said Thursday he expects the process to take a long time.
“I expect we will have late nights and extended debates here on the floor,” he said.
Before he can speak, the Senate parliamentarian must complete her analysis of the bill to determine whether it can be authorized as part of reconciliation in the first place.
And after that, passage of the bill is still not guaranteed, as Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has yet to show her support.
Republicans, meanwhile, have repeatedly criticized the legislation. McConnell called it “a bag of freebies from far-left environmental activists at the expense of working families.”
He also says the bill would provide no relief, or would aggravate, inflation.
Data from the Congressional Budget Office shows the legislation would reduce the deficit by about $300 billion, but its impact on inflation in the immediate future is negligible, the office said. They also acknowledged that the bill would affect inflation beyond next year, but that the CBO did not assess those effects.
Economists like Larry Summers, who has criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the economy in the past, say the bill is a positive step and pushed back against critics who say the bill’s impact on inflation will not be seen for a number of years. .
“I saw a bill that, when fully analyzed, will have a positive impact on inflation — not a huge positive impact, but a positive impact on inflation,” Summers said. says NPR’s All Things Considered.