Republican leaders plan to use a legislative process called “reconciliation,” which allows for special and speedy congressional consideration of certain tax and spending bills, to advance their fiscal policy agenda in 2015. In the Senate, members can’t filibuster reconciliation bills, and the scope of amendments they can offer to them is limited, giving this process real advantages for enacting controversial budget and tax measures. Our new report addresses some frequently asked questions about reconciliation:
How Often Have Policymakers Used Reconciliation?
What Kinds of Changes Can a Reconciliation Bill Include?
How Does Congress Start the Reconciliation Process?
What Role Do Committees Play?
What Special Role Do the Budget Committees Play?
How Many Reconciliation Bills May Congress Consider Each Year?
Can the Full House or Senate Amend a Reconciliation Bill?
What Happens After Each Chamber Adopts a Reconciliation Bill?
What Procedural Advantages Does Reconciliation Have in the Senate?
What Procedural Advantages Does Reconciliation Have in the House?
Can Reconciliation Be Used to Increase Deficits?
What Is the Byrd Rule?
What Provisions are “Extraneous” Under the Byrd Rule?