US Capitol by Reizigerin is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) last week introduced legislation that ensures Senate Democrats allow a transparent and open process that includes committee hearings before voting on their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. This legislation, the No Hearing, No Vote Act of 2021, is supported by SenatorsBurr (R-N.C.), Inhofe (R-Okla.), Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ernst (R-Iowa), Lankford (R-Okla.), Capito (R-W.V.), Risch (R-Idaho), Rubio (R-Fla.), and Hagerty (R-Tenn.). 

This legislation mirrors legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and 39 other Democrats in 2017, so this should not be a controversial bill. If lawmakers are serious about ensuring a transparent process for such consequential pieces of legislation, they should vote in favor of this bill.   

Congressional Democrats have not held any hearings on the policies they have proposed in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. The Senate also plans to skip the markup process and take this bill straight to the Senate floor. intend to hold a markup during the consideration of this bill either. Clearly, the American people are being kept in the dark on what is actually in this legislation. 

The reconciliation bill Democrats have proposed contains the largest tax increase since 1968, a massive expansion of welfare, supersizing of the Internal Revenue Service, numerous green energy subsidies, and more.  

The reconciliation bill contains a corporate income tax hike to 26.5 percent, higher than Communist China. Under this plan, the average combined state and federal corporate tax would be 31 percent. Corporate taxes are primarily borne by workers and consumers. It would also increase the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 percent, hitting millions of small businesses organized as pass-throughs. Further, the bill would double the capital gains rate, impose a 15 percent minimum tax on book income, and more. 

Democrats would use these taxpayer funds to radically expand the welfare state through a refundable child tax credit, paid medical and family leave, free pre-K education, free community college, public health insurance plans, countless tax credits for green energy, and more. It also contains countless “woke,” perplexing items like a tax handout for journalists, the Civilian Climate Corp (make-work program for jobless climate activists), and a $1,500 tax credit for e-bikes. 

If passed, this reconciliation bill will have real, enormous effects on the American people. At the very least, the American public and all lawmakers should be part of the conversation and process.