Schumer will get inexperienced gentle on reconciliation. Will he use it?

RECONCILIATION $2.0: Here are two things you should know about President Joe Biden’s new $2 trillion tax and spending bill: That the jobs plan may go through Senate committees and that Democrats have not yet officially chosen to go the reconciliation route, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

In a telephone interview on Monday, Schumer told Burgess he thought Senate committees would examine the legislation, marking a shift from the coronavirus rescue plan, which on the Senate side was mostly assembled on the floor. And Schumer still says he’d like the bill to be bipartisan, but that it’s “too early” to rule reconciliation out.

BUT this interview came hours before the Dem leader secured a big W: The Senate Parliamentarian ruled that they can recycle the fiscal 2021 budget resolution to deploy the reconciliation process for a second time, according to a Schumer spokesperson — though “some parameters still need to be worked out.” (We have yet to see Elizabeth MacDonough’s actual ruling.) The ruling “allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” the spokesman argued.

IYKYK: This ruling could have some serious ramifications down the line.

As our Caitlin Emma writes: “That stretch of reconciliation empowers any party in full control of Washington to theoretically use the tool as often as they want, if Schumer decides to follow through on using the budget process to pass legislation like Biden’s infrastructure plan or an immigration overhaul, which he has not yet done… If he does proceed down that path, Schumer’s never-before-tried maneuver is sure to draw complaints from Republicans, who could weaponize the budget process themselves if they regain majorities in both chambers and the White House.” More here from Caitlin:

Reacting to the news, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt) told MSNBC: “It’s important because it gives us a little more flexibility. We don’t have to push everything into one package.”

ON TOP OF THAT: Schumer is getting some pushback from within his caucus. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) ain’t a fan of President Joe Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent to pay for his infrastructure plan.

“The bill, basically, is not going to end up that way,” Manchin told West Virginia radio host Hoppy Kercheval yesterday. “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here. And it’s more than just me, Hoppy, there’s six or seven other Democrats that feel very strongly about this.”

The news didn’t surprise Schumer, but Manchin is no one-man band this time around. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Monday said he expects to have more input on the legislation before he gives his support. On the Senate floor, Warner has also warned about the consequences of one party making “big policy changes” like Republicans did to the tax code in 2017, which comes as Democrats weigh whether to work with Republicans or go their own way.

Burgess has the details:

FUN FACTS from Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis, who tweeted: “Think about the last few times parties have had trifectas. Fun fact: *NONE* of those trifectas used all the reconciliation opportunities they had available to them…Democrats in 2010 could have used reconciliation to modify the Bush tax cuts to their hearts’ content with 51/218. Guess what they did? Cut a deal with Mitch McConnell.”

Related: Senate Dems release international tax framework as lawmakers start to tweak Biden’s plan, by our Brian Faler: | Sen. Sherrod Brown wants repeal of corporate tax provisions he says export jobs, reports’s Sabrina Eaton:

HOW LOW WILL THE MORALE GO: Four Capitol Police officers have died in three months. First it was Jan. 6 where Officer Brian Sicknick died from the injuries he sustained from the attackers, followed by two officers who died by suicide shortly after the deadly insurrection. Then, the understaffed police force was forced to work long hours as it sought to protect the Capitol complex, which has remained on high-alert for any signs of another surge of violence. And on Friday, tragedy struck again with the car attack, which killed one officer and injured another. All that piled on top of an ongoing global pandemic.

That toll has compounded and weighed on the Capitol Police, rightly leading some lawmakers to warn that the force is in the midst of a mental health emergency.

As my colleagues write: “A long list of grave problems confronts the force, where there are already 233 vacancies and hundreds more officers are on the brink of retirement, according to its union. Capitol Police leaders are facing intense political heat for their failures on Jan. 6, with three dozen facing internal investigations for their own actions during the chaos and the department’s inspector general delivering a scathing assessment. Two officers are suing Trump for alleged incitement of the insurrection.”

“Having a loss like this on the heels of Jan. 6, and the losses after that, is devastating to the police department,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) told my colleagues in an interview. “We need to make sure that they have the resources that they need and show that they have our support. We need to demonstrate it with action,” she added proposing a “mental health unit” within the Capitol police, which would include peer-to-peer counseling.

More here from Kyle and Nick:

Related: Capitol Police officer was killed by car striking him, D.C. police say, by WaPo’s Tom Jackman and Emily Davies:

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HAPPY TUESDAY! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill on this April 5, where even bunnies are masked.

MONDAY’S MOST CLICKED: WITN’s story on Rep. Greg Murphy’s Twitter woes was the big winner.

COMING UP: House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal is vowing to include paid family and medical leave for every worker in Biden’s infrastructure package, per a letter to Dem members of the panel, which Nightly’s Myah Ward acquired. The Massachussets Democrat also said child care “needs to be a guarantee.”

WOKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO-GO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a message for Big Business: Republicans will clap back if corporate America continues acting like “a woke parallel government.” That warning, delivered in a statement issued Monday by McConnell, comes after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was moved out of Georgia over complaints of the new GOP-sponsored election laws there.

The admonition marks quite a shift from the Kentucky Republican, who has long aligned himself with the business community. It is the latest sign of a fraying alliance between big companies and the GOP.

“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling,” McConnell said in his statement. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

His warning also comes as Republican leaders have voiced support for boycotts against a group of companies that have condemned or pulled business from states that have passed more restrictive voting laws.

Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw report: “The appetite for punitive measures hasn’t ended there. Republicans are also encouraging state and federal officials to utilize the tax code as a means of hitting back at, what they deem to be, ‘woke capitalism.’ And they’re targeting some of the most iconic American brands — from Delta and Coca Cola to Major League Baseball — in the process.” More here:

POV from Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter: “Southern GOP Govs boasted about ‘stealing’ corporate jobs from high-tax/high regulation states. But, they are coming to realize that those blue state companies are bringing their cultural identity and their more liberal workforce with them.”

Related: A fight over taxes could heal the rift between business and the GOP, The National Journal’s Charlie Cook reports: | Republican battle with MLB intensifies, by The Hill’s Alex Bolton:

WHEN THE GOING GAETZ TOUGH…: When former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) was facing the release of nude photos on conservative sites as well as allegations that she had relationships with staffers — in her office and her campaign, Rep. Matt Gaetz came to her defense, a point he was quick to make in a new Op-Ed. Now, Hill is calling on the Florida Republican to resign if the allegations of sexual misconduct against him are true.

“If there is even a fraction of truth to these reports, he should resign immediately,” Hill wrote in Vanity Fair. “If true, Matt had engaged in the very practice he’d defended me from.” More here from Nick Niedzwiadek:

Gaetz faces allegations of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and potential violations of sex trafficking laws. He is also accused of showing off nude pictures and photos of women to other members of Congress, which CNN first reported and sources confirmed to your Huddle host and Mel.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, writing in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner yesterday that he will not resign: “My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal. I defended Rep. Katie Hill’s ‘throuple’ when her own Democratic colleagues wouldn’t. I just didn’t think it was anyone’s business,” he wrote. “It comes as no surprise that my political opponents want to sensationalize and criminalize my prior sex life just as I am getting engaged to the best person I’ve ever known.”

MEANWHILE: While Donald Trump has remained quiet as his longtime ally is embroiled in the scandal, no one else in the former president’s orbit is rushing to defend Gaetz, Gabby, Meredith and Sam Stein report. One person involved in Trump’s post-presidential operations said “not a lot of people are surprised” by the allegations against Gaetz.

Yet, our Gary Fineout found that in Gaetz’s district in Florida’s Panhandle, a GOP stronghold, he has some support: “Republicans in the heart of Trump country are deeply suspicious of the accusations and still support him.” More here from Gary:

Related: Former lawmaker says Gaetz fought ‘revenge porn’ law: ‘He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted’ by Orlando Sentinel’s Jason Garcia: | Another twist in Matt Gaetz saga: Former staffer describes FBI encounter and defends old boss, Washington Examiner’s Emily Brooks reports:

QUICK CLICKS: U.S. and Iran set to begin indirect talks on reviving nuclear deal in Vienna, by WaPo’s Loveday Morris and Ann Gearan: | Fellow Democrats pressure Biden to weaken vaccine patents, by Roll Call’s Ariel Cohen:

JAN 6 FALLOUT: Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll, by Reuters’ James Oliphant and Chris Kahn: | Prosecutors indicate they’re nearing cooperation with Oath Keeper charged in Capitol assault, Kyle and Josh Gerstein report:


-Eric Bolling won’t run for Congress by our Alex Isenstadt:

-GOP sees big Biden spending take hold in three swing districts…“Interviews with dozens of voters in three swing congressional districts across the country revealed evidence that attacks on the spending push are beginning to take hold, and congressional Republicans said they are well positioned to capitalize on voter doubts and win back power in 2022.” WaPo’s Mike DeBonis, Eric Berger and Chris Dixon report:

-Doug Collins says he is “seriously” considering running again for Senate against Sen. Raphael Warnock (R) next year, according to an interview with Hannity last night.

-Amanda Adkins will try again in 2022 for Sharice Davids’ seat in Congress by Kansas City Star’s Katie Bernard:

-CASHIN IN: Fundraising numbers are starting to roll in. Freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), who represents a swing district, will report raising over $570,000 with more than $400,000 cash on hand for the first fundraising quarter, per her team. Freshman GOP Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich), who voted to impeach Trump, tweeted that he raised “north of” $500,000. And in California, Sen. Alex Padilla (D) raised $2.6 million, per his team. Rep. Ro Khanna (D) also raised $1.5 million, per POLITICO’s California Playbook.


Libbie Wilcox is now the comms director for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the DCCC chair. She previously served as Maloney’s campaign comms director as well as digital and new media director on the official side. Wilcox is a Gwen Moore alum.

Emily Leviner will be Sen. Deb Fischer’s (R-Neb.) new chief of staff. She previously served as Fischer’s Deputy COS and legislative director.

Kelley Billy is joining Young America’s Foundation as assistant to its president, Scott Walker. She previously was executive assistant for Rep. David Rouzer (R-N.C.).

Maria Secrest and Dan Betts are joining GOP Rep. Ken Buck’s Colorado office. Secrest will handle veterans casework issues and previously was a regional director in former Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) office. Betts will be an area representative and previously was a regional director for Gardner.


The House is out.

The Senate will meet at 2 p.m. in a pro forma session.


4 p.m.: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will speak virtually with House Democrats about the “American Rescue Plan, the president’s recovery package and the road ahead for rebuilding America’s Economy,” per a notice that went out to members. Fun fact: Yellen spoke to House Dems exactly a year ago today.


MONDAY’S WINNER: Michael Garman was the first person to correctly guess that Helen Gahagan Douglas was the actress turned congresswoman who was the inspiration for the Wicked Queen in “Snow White” based on her role in the movie “She.” And LBJ was the future president she had an affair with.

TODAY’S QUESTION: From Michael: Who was the only person to ever hold two Cabinet positions concurrently, and what were the two positions? (Hint: he would later become president.)

The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answer to [email protected].

GET HUDDLE emailed to your phone each morning.

Follow Olivia on Twitter: @Olivia_Beavers

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