New Republican Legislative Proposal Aims To Make New Spending Bills More Difficult During High Inflation

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced proposed legislation backed by several Republicans that would make it more difficult for the Senate to pass spending bills when the U.S. economy has a high inflation rate. Blackburn said in her press release regarding the bill that Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) are co-sponsors.

Blackburn’s release said the bill, titled the “Stop the Inflationary Spending Spree Act,” would amend the rules of the Senate to raise the threshold to invoke cloture on general appropriations bills to a two-thirds majority of the Senate any time the federal Consumer Price Index is above 4.0 percent.

The current threshold for cloture, also described as the filibuster rule, is three-fifths. If the bill were to go into effect, all 100 senators’ threshold would go up from 60 to 67 to move a spending bill forward.

Blackburn said that her constituents in Tennessee “cannot afford the left’s endless spending spree.” She added that the Biden Administration’s current policies and spending results in inflation rates not seen in multiple decades. She said the new law would force Democrats to seek bipartisan spending solutions rather than move damaging spending forward on a one-party basis.

The Department of Labor has released statistics this year showing sharp increases in the consumer price index. The index rose 6.8 percent annually through November, marking the largest twelve-month increase in inflation since June 1982. Energy prices shot up by 33.3 percent and food prices by 6.1 percent during the period.

Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) negotiate with senators to pass the Build Back Better spending bill as a budget reconciliation measure. Under existing Senate rules, Democrats will be able to pass the measure if they can cobble together 50 votes plus the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris to override the opposing votes of the 50 Republican senators.