Democrats in the Senate early Wednesday passed a $3.5 trillion budget framework with no support from Republicans, though its final passage is not assured.
The budget was advanced 50–49, with all votes in favor coming from Democrats or nominal independents who regularly vote with the left.
All Republicans voted against the budget except for Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). He is at the Mayo Clinic with his wife, Jean, who is undergoing cancer treatments, he said on Tuesday.
“This legislation will not only provide enormous support unprecedented in recent American history for the children in our country, for the parents in our country, to the elderly people in our country, to the working families of our country, but it will also, I hope, restore the faith of the American people in the belief that we can have a government that works for all of us and not just a few,” Sanders said on the Senate floor in Washington.
“Senate Democrats have just took a massive step towards restoring the middle class in the 21st century and giving Americans, more Americans, the chance to get there,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) added.
The procedural vote followed hours of debate and consideration of amendments, starting on Tuesday afternoon and wrapping up shortly before 4 a.m. on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives, which Democrats also control, is poised to take up the measure during the week of Aug. 23, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told colleagues this week.
Democrats were able to avoid needing Republican votes by utilizing a process known as budget reconciliation, which cuts the number of votes required from 60 to 50.
Democrats control the upper chamber by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’s ability to cast tiebreaking votes in her role as president of the Senate. If Rounds had been present and voted no, Harris could have broken the tie.
Republicans denounced the budget, which has yet to be drafted.
“There is absolutely no way that I could support the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion dollar tax and spend bill from hell. The unsustainable spending policies put forth by this Administration are irresponsible and will do nothing but crush economic recovery, unleash runaway inflation, and destroy the futures of our children and grandchildren,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said in a statement.
“Democrats’ $3.5 trillion wish list on new entitlements, climate change, and amnesty is a reckless spending spree that will accelerate the national debt. This is not what Oklahomans want, and this is not what our nation needs,” added Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that the passage of the budget showed Democrats have “fully embraced the radical left.”