CBO releases estimates for $1.75T Biden social spending bill

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The Congressional Budget Office released four initial reports Wednesday on parts of President Biden’s sweeping $1.75 trillion social spending bill ahead of a planned vote in the House of Representatives next week.

The non-partisan office looked at parts of the bill contributed by the House Homeland Security, Science, Small Business, and Veterans Affairs committees. It ruled that all four sections “would not increase on-budget deficits after 2031” and fall within their respective budget functions.

On Tuesday, the CBO had said a full report, or “score,” on the bill could take some time to produce.

“Over the past several months, we have provided technical assistance to committees as they developed their proposals for various parts of the bill. The analysis of the bill’s many provisions is complicated, and CBO will provide a cost estimate for the entire bill as soon as practicable,” the CBO said at the time.

“We anticipate releasing estimates for individual titles of the bill as we complete them, some of which will be released this week. Other estimates will take longer, particularly for provisions in some titles that interact with those in other titles. When we determine a release date for the cost estimate for the entire bill, we will provide advance notice.”

US Capitol
The CBO had said a full report on the bill could take some time to produce.
Michael Reynolds/EPA

In all four estimates, the CBO compared the budget authority of each committee to the estimated outlays dictated by the bill between 2022 and 2031. 

For the section contributed by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the CBO estimated $9.424 million in budget authority and $9.337 million in outlays during that time period. In the case of the Committee on Homeland Security, the office found $1.5 million in budget authority and $1.362 million in outlays.

For the Committee on Small Business, there is an estimated $5.025 million in budget authority and $4.961 million in outlays. Finally, for the Committee on Veterans Affairs, CBO found $5 million in budget authority and $4.829 million in outlays.

Moderate Democrats in the House have been adamant in their calls to receive a CBO score before they agree to vote for the bill in its current form, but have stated that receiving a breakdown of the cost of key parts of the measure could be enough to sway them to vote in its favor.

House Democratic leaders are hoping to vote on and pass the bill next week. Despite the CBO’s warning that a full report may not come by then, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that she still plans on having the vote. 

“Yes, we intend — that is our plan to pass the bill the week of Nov. 15, as is indicated in our statements that were made at the time of passing the infrastructure bill, and we’re very proud of that,” Pelosi said during a press conference at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.

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