What Can Democrats do with 50 Senate Votes?
Though a supermajority of 60 senators is generally needed to pass major legislation in the Senate, the chamber moves routine measures without a formal vote, and a simple majority is enough to advance certain annual budget and tax-related measures via a process known as reconciliation. Only matters that are reasonably related to taxing and spending are supposed to make it into such bills. Reconciliation also could empower Democrats to enact additional stimulus relief opposed by Republicans as well as portions of Biden’s climate and immigration priorities. The Congressional Review Act will enable Democrats to pass measures canceling regulations issued recently by the Trump administration with simple majorities. Democrats could also move the president’s executive and judicial nominations with only Democratic support as a result of rules changes that require a simple majority to cut off debate and obtain a vote on confirmation.