Senate Democrats are hoping to quickly finalize and pass yet another progressive agenda spending bill that has been dubiously dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that, contrary to the title, will likely only increase inflation linked to excessive government spending.
So intent on swift passage are Democrats that it has now been revealed that previously sacrosanct pandemic precautions, such as COVID testing prior to holding votes, have been cast aside in order to ensure that every single Democratic senator, whether sick or not, will be present and ready to vote whenever the bill comes to the floor, Breitbart reported.
The plan for Democrats is to push the spending measure through without any Republican votes by way of the budget reconciliation process, which requires only a simple majority for passage, but that means that every single Democratic member plus Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker must be on hand in order for the plan to prevail in the evenly split chamber.
So much for strict COVID testing protocols
The revelation that Senate Democrats are prepared to ignore and cast aside their own COVID-19 protocols in order to swiftly pass the so-called Inflation Reduction Act was first shared in the Puck newsletter this week.
“Senate Democrats, some of whom have decried their G.O.P. colleagues’ lenient attitude toward masking, have adopted an unofficial ‘Don’t Test, Don’t Tell,’ protocol of late, particularly as they endeavor to pass the historic Inflation Reduction Act this weekend,” the outlet reported.
According to one unnamed senior Senate aide, “They’re not going to delay it if a member has gotten Covid. Counterparts are saying they’re not going to test anymore. It’s not an official mandate but we all know we’re not letting Covid get in the way. The deal is happening. Less testing, just wear masks and get it done.”
The outlet further noted that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), when asked if there was a “Plan B” in place in case one or more Democratic members tested positive prior to a vote, told reporters, “We’re not talking about a plan B. We’re going to stay healthy.”
Another unnamed source told Puck, perhaps jokingly, that even if a Democratic member tested positive and was actually sick with the virus, “You can bring your ventilator and still vote.”
Matt Whitlock, a GOP communications operative, was justifiably outraged by that revelation about the unofficial abandonment of testing protocols, and wrote on Twitter, “INCREDIBLE. After 2 solid years of attacking Republicans for not taking COVID seriously enough, they’re not even testing themselves anymore because they’re afraid of losing a vote on their climate tax and spend bill.”
Just a scaled-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda
As for the inaptly named bill itself, it is little more than a scaled-down version of President Joe Biden’s previously blocked Build Back Better agenda that was recently negotiated between Sens. Schumer and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and includes hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and new spending on climate change and healthcare issues, according to Breitbart.
The bill has not yet been finalized beyond a basic framework agreed upon by Schumer and Manchin and any future vote will be contingent upon the approval of the Senate parliamentarian in order to make use of the limited budget reconciliation process.
If and when that unguaranteed approval ever comes, as the Puck report indicated, Schumer and his fellow Democrats will then throw all caution to the wind and risk potential viral spread by COVID-positive members in order to immediately ram that bill through the Senate with the bare minimum of 51 votes.