Democrats’ health care, tax and climate bill is heading for a key procedural vote on Saturday with energy provisions like an electric vehicle tax credit intact — but no answers yet on whether drug pricing reforms can stay in the package.
The Senate parliamentarian — the upper chamber’s nonpartisan rules referee — has not said whether the prescription drug provisions meet strict budget rules allowing Democrats to pass their signature spending package without the threat of a GOP filibuster. The Senate is set to convene at noon on Saturday, with a pivotal vote to move forward on the bill expected later in the afternoon.
An unfavorable ruling on Democrats’ drug pricing plan could set off a scramble, prompting major revisions while the package hurtles toward the Senate floor. Democrats did receive some good news early Saturday morning, however: Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced that his panel’s energy provisions, which include the electric vehicle tax credits and a bonus tax credit to encourage clean energy developers to pay the prevailing wage, cleared Senate budget rules.
Some budget experts had surmised that certain conditions placed on the electric vehicle tax credits, including restrictions on where car battery materials must be sourced, ran afoul of the budget rules guiding the process that Democrats are using to pass their bill with a simple majority and evade a filibuster.