Republicans have promised retaliation like no other after Democrats push forward the social spending and tax bill. When asked in a press conference his thoughts on the vote-a-rama, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said “what will vote-a-rama be like? It will be like hell.” “They deserve this. As much as I admire Joe Manchin and Sinema for standing up to the radical left at times, they’re empowering legislation that will make the average person’s life more difficult,” added Graham. This is after Republican senators promised to make the upcoming Senate’s vote-a-rama “hell” in response to the Democrats’ social spending and tax bill. Even going so far as to threaten to tank a continuing resolution.
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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., announced she supports moving forward after the Democrats made some changes to the bill. Seen as the biggest threat for Democrats to pass the bill, this support from Sinema can impede the Democrats to pass the legislation since they will need all 50 of their votes. Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties in the evenly-divided Senate.
With Democrats planning to use a process called budget reconciliation to pass a bill, Sen. Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced a deal that will allow them to get around the 60-vote filibuster threshold. The Democrats first need to go through all the procedures of this reconciliation process, which also includes a vote-a-rama, where senators can offer an unlimited number of amendments to the bill. This session may last for the better part of the day, even going past midnight and into the first hours of the morning, and include dozens of votes. In this same session, Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Republicans “plan to introduce amendments on energy, inflation, border, and crime.”
These changes to the bill by Republicans aim to make Democrats take votes that they wouldn’t be comfortable with ahead of the midterm elections. Republicans expect to be able to change the bill with their amendments, or even sink it completely if Democrats oppose the bill because of these amendments. Regarding the votes, Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D. said “I think that these votes are going to be hard votes for Democrats,” and “I think the question for both Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema is if any of these amendments succeed at the end, will you or will you not vote for the wrap-around amendment?”
Usually offered by the party leadership at the end of a vote-a-rama, a wrap-around amendment is an amendment that effectively negates any amendments that passed. This allows vulnerable members to vote the way they need to on any difficult issues that are brought up by the minority while preventing any changes from actually making it into the bill, reported Fox News.
Graham and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said they would oppose any bills that included a commitment to vote on energy permitting reform, even if they like the underlying policy, as payback. “You’re supposed to get some things on permitting reform that maybe I’ll like. You’re supposed to get some special deal for some pipeline in West Virginia.”, said Graham.