On Sunday, August 7th, 2022, the Senate passed its historic spending bill that will address climate change, healthcare, and taxes on a strictly party-line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the final vote to break the 50-50 tie.
This reconciliation package was negotiated primarily between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) over the past several weeks. However, last week Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) successfully negotiated changes to the tax revenues and climate provisions in the bill, securing her vote and ensuring that all 50 Democratic Senators approved of the bill, a necessary step to passing it.
Beginning on Saturday night at about 11:00pm, the Senators worked all night in a marathon voting session, a process dubbed vote-a-rama, as both Democratic and Republican Senators offered amendments to the bill. Overall, Democratic Senators stayed unified and defeated Republican-offered amendments to various provisions in the bill; occasional exceptions were made for tax revenue changes, but the final amended package was still supported by the entire slate of Democrat Senators, securing passage of the bill.
Although Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others offered amendments related to childcare, preschool. and the expanded child tax credit, these amendments were also defeated. The reconciliation package still does not contain new funding specifically for children and families.
President Biden released a statement on the Senate vote on Sunday afternoon. The House is expected to reconvene later this week to vote on the package.