Senate Should Have True Cost of ‘Build Back Better’ Before a Vote

Tuesday on the floor, I discussed the budget gimmicks being used by Democrats to artificially lower the cost of their tax-and-spend legislation and my letter sent last week asking the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation for an updated estimate. Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“What they've basically done is to create the illusion of a lower price tag without making any real, substantive long-term cuts. And how do you do that? Well, it's the old-fashioned way. It's called budget gimmicks.”

“Rather than remove these expensive programs entirely, they've chose to create a number of arbitrary cliffs, sunsets, and expirations. That way, they could pretend to pass these bills at a lower cost with the tacit promise to continue them at another time and another day.”

“It's smoke and mirrors. It's budget gimmickry. It's starting new programs, claiming to cut them off after a year, knowing that inevitably Congress will be tempted to extend them much, much longer.”

“We need to know precisely how much this bill will cost the American people. We know that our colleagues across the aisle have struggled to try to make a $6 trillion bill appear to be a $3.5 trillion and now a $1.75 trillion, but I don't think anybody is really fooled.”

“The cost estimate provided by the CBO, we know - given these phony assumptions - is not an accurate statement of the true cost of the bill.”

“The budget experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business have analyzed this legislation as if these temporary provisions would be made permanent, which I think is the safest assumption to make.”

“So instead of $1.75 trillion, they pegged the cost close to $4.6 trillion over ten years.”

“Last week I sent a letter to the leaders of the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation requesting an updated estimate based on more reasonable assumptions. If the temporary provisions of this bill are extended, and I fully expect them to be if our Democratic colleagues have the votes to do it, this legislation will cost a whole lot more than what the American people have been told.”


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