Procedures in the United States Senate are often hard to understand, even for Senators themselves who have to live with the procedures on a semi-regular basis. One such rule of order requires certain criteria to be met in order to vote under reconciliation to prevent a Democratic filibuster.
Education provisions had to be tossed before the Senate can vote on the bill. That means the victory the GOP celebrated earlier in the day will have to be revisited tomorrow if the Senate passes it tonight. That won’t change things; many representatives probably weren’t even familiar with the provision, considering the 27,000 pages of the bill and amendments likely went unread by all but a few in Congress.
While this does little to change the outcome, it strengthens the Democrats’ case that this was a rushed effort. Bills as large as this need to be properly coordinated between the House and Senate in order to come up with something that meets all criteria of both chambers while ensuring passage once it reaches the floor. Democrats will say this obvious roadblock would have been averted if the GOP took the time to read what they were passing.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, they lost the ability to really push this point home when Nancy Pelosi famously said, “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
The bill will still pass in the House as long as it makes it through the Senate tonight. Then, President Trump will hold an event at the White House tomorrow to celebrate. What happens after that will help determine the outcome of the midterm elections.