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The first Senate GOP amendments on Saturday night’s vote-a-rama include provisions on energy, the border and the IRS, as Republicans try to kill the Democrats’ social spending bill — or at least do it politically painful to approve.
Perhaps most likely to succeed is an amendment to codify Title 42 immigration policy by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. It could embarrass several Democrats who have said they support the policy, including Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., who is one of the bill’s primary sponsors. Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont. and others have also criticized the Biden administration’s efforts to end Title 42.
“We’re going to put it out there. A lot of them have said one thing, but it’s never been on the record. This is the time when they really need to go on the record and say what they really believe on these issues.” Lankford told Fox News Digital on Saturday.
Manchin, however, said Saturday that he would vote against the Republicans’ “bogus” amendments because he says they are being offered in bad faith — since Republicans are expected to unanimously oppose the bill.
SENATE DEBATE DEMS’ SOCIAL SPENDING AND TAX BILL BEFORE VOTE-A-RAMA MARATHON: LIVE UPDATES
Republicans are also pushing energy-related amendments from Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Lindsey Graham, RS.C.
Barrasso’s amendment would aim to boost US onshore energy production. Graham’s would remove a tax on imported and domestic oil from the Democrats’ bill.
Sen. Shelley Moore Captio, DW.Va., has also introduced an amendment to the first installment. It would knock $45 million from the Democrats’ bill aimed at regulating emissions. This follows a Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA that significantly curtailed the agency’s power to implement climate regulations without congressional consent.
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, also has an amendment to prevent the IRS from targeting Americans and small businesses making under $400,000 a year for audits.
DEMS CLAIM WINS FOR CLIMATE AND PENSIONS AFTER PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW OF SOCIAL TAX AND SPENDING
Those amendments are just the first of many Republicans are expected to force votes during the marathon vote-a-rama, which could see dozens of amendments in a session that could last the better part of 24 hours. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also says he will introduce some amendments to the bill.
The vote-a-rama is a required step in the Senate’s budget reconciliation process, which Democrats are using to pass their bill, called the “Reduce Inflation Act,” without having to clear the cap of 60 votes. Democrats have been working for more than a year to push the legislation through reconciliation. They previously called the legislation “Build Back Better,” and previous versions of it cost more than $3 trillion.
The newest version of the bill is significantly reduced, with more than $700 billion in taxes and more than $400 billion in spending.
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It is unclear whether any amendments will pass during the vote-a-rama. Many Democrats say they will vote against even the amendments they agree with in order to avoid any complications in passing the bill.
“It’s my view that this is the only deal that will get us 50 votes,” said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. “It’s not the bill I would have written, but it’s still a very good bill. So I want to make sure we can maintain 50 votes on the final vote.”
If any amendments do pass, Democratic leadership can introduce what’s called a wrap-around amendment at the end of the vote-a-rama, which would remove them from the bill.