Reconciliation Bill 101

Jasmine Gregory


September 18, 2021


What is a Reconciliation Bill?

The budget reconciliation process is a special fast tracked legislative process by which congress is able to pass bills dealing with spending and taxes. The budget reconciliation process amends the traditional need for sixty votes to pass a bill in the Senate and requires only fifty-one votes to pass a bill or fifty votes with the Vice President being the tie breaking vote. The budget reconciliation process is unique in that it holds special status in the Senate and cannot be filibustered.

During the creation of a budget reconciliation bill, legislative text is drafted by select committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Once text has been produced in the House and Senate separately the two texts must then be combined and approved by both chambers before it is sent to the President for final signature.

Reconciliation and Climate Policy

So what does budget reconciliation have to do with the climate? Right now in the U.S. Congress, senators and representatives are writing, amending and discussing a budget reconciliation bill that is going to include President Biden’s ‘Build Back Better Agenda’.  This agenda includes specific climate measures such as achieving a carbon free power sector by 2035, investing in clean energy,  new energy efficiency standards, environmental justice consideration and more. 

Committees in the House and Senate have been working to produce a reconciliation bill that includes climate and energy policies and we can expect to see full text versions of the bill from both the House and Senate by the end of September. This is a BIG DEAL! Climate policy is on the line and this bill could be the catalyst for the emergency action that our climate and communities so desperately need.

The time for change is now!

Image of a protester holding up a placard that reads "There is NO Planet B"

The latest IPCC Report has made it clear: we are living through the climate emergency and we cannot afford the consequences of continued use of fossil fuels. As the timeline winds down for passing reconciliation legislation, the support of our senators and representatives is vital. 

Tell Your Senators: Include Renewables In The Reconciliation Bill

Through crucial policy investments, Congress can:

  • jumpstart a just transition to renewable energy, while rejecting false solutions like gas
  • create millions of future, ready-livable wage, energy sector jobs
  • invest in climate impacted regions
  • combat the climate catastrophe that threatens us all daily

Young people have the power to shift the narrative and now is the time to stand alongside thousands of ACE members and tell your Senator to support climate solutions and include local distributed renewable energy legislation in the current reconciliation bill!

Want to read more from ACE? Check out our Blog.

Jasmine Gregory

Jasmine Gregory

Policy Analyst

Jasmine is a Policy Analyst for ACE based in Raleigh, NC. In her role she collaborates with various ACE teams to advance coordinated efforts concerning climate, justice and other relevant policy and advocacy efforts. Jasmine enjoys exploring nature, reading and listening to podcasts.

More Blog Posts

Climate Emergency Toolkit Images

The Climate Emergency is Here.

Since the summer of 2021, we’ve watched elected leaders at every level grapple with the reality of the climate emergency. Communities, businesses, homes and individuals are suffering at the hand of climate inaction and our elected leaders have the ability to change that. It’s time for our elected officials to meet the urgency of the moment and declare climate emergencies!

Read More

ACE INTERVIEW: Aryaana Khan on COP26

Aryaana Khan (she/they) is a 20-year-old youth climate organizer located in New York City. She has been a part of the Youth Fundraising Advisory Board (YFAB) and a Senior Fellow at ACE, and is currently a Biologist in the making at the City College of New York. As she prepares to attend COP26 with ACE, Aryaana has shared some thoughts around the conference and the outcomes she is hoping for.

Read More
Climate Emergency

Climate Emergency 101

The consequences of climate change are affecting us everyday. We are now experiencing hotter heat waves, deadlier hurricane seasons, rivers drying up, air pollution destroying our health, and so much more. It’s time to sound the alarm and declare a national climate emergency. We need to raise our voices and let our government officials know that its #NowOrNever.

Read More
View More