This week is the week that the House was supposed vote on the Build Back Better bill after information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) came in.
However, there are problems with whether that’s going to happen.
According to the NY Times, the CBO score now isn’t anticipated to come in until Friday, Nov. 19, which doesn’t leave a lot of the week left to get it done. According to CNN, it’s the end of the day Friday but that’s also when the House is scheduled to go into recess.
To clarify for everyone: the agreement we made w/our colleagues was NOT for CBO score. It was for some additional financial information from CBO. Agreement also says that in no event would the vote take place later than the week of Nov. 15. We trust our colleagues’ commitments. https://t.co/SCe51Ooi7W
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) November 10, 2021
Dem TX Rep Cuellar on CBO score for social spending bill: We want to see what the CBO usually does. Not a an abbreviated one..we want to see what we're going to be voting on. So let's see what comes out by Friday.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 15, 2021
But the bigger and probably more overarching problem for Joe Biden and the Democrats is what they’re going to reveal — that the bill isn’t paid for as Joe Biden claimed. Gee, who would have guessed that they were lying? I mean besides everyone who wasn’t gullible. But that’s why some of the moderates were likely hanging fire waiting on the score — they wanted a real assessment and didn’t trust Biden. They want the bill fully financed.
But the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that the I.R.S. proposal would yield far less than what the White House was counting on to help pay for its bill — about $120 billion over a decade versus the $400 billion that the administration is counting on. [….]
The White House has begun bracing lawmakers for a disappointing estimate from the budget office, which is likely to find that the cost of the overall package will not be fully paid for with new tax revenue over the coming decade.
So how is the Brandon-Kurtenbach Administration handling this information? Don’t listen to that gold standard of the CBO score, they’re already arguing — believe us instead.
Senior administration officials are urging lawmakers to disregard the budget office assessment, saying it is being overly conservative in its calculations, failing to properly credit the return on investment of additional I.R.S. resources and overlooking the deterrent effects that a more aggressive tax collection agency would have on tax cheats.
“In this one case, I think we’ve made a very strong empirical case for C.B.O. not having an accurate score,” Ben Harris, Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy, said in an interview. “The question is would they rather go with C.B.O. knowing C.B.O. is wrong, or would they want to target the best information they could possibly have?”
You already had the moderates bristling over the price tag and some of the provisions, and that’s with the claim it was paid for. This news isn’t going to go over well with them, especially folks like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). In order to pass this, the Democrats need every Senate vote and they can’t lose more than three votes in the House, according to the Times.
So now it’s going to really be fish or cut bait time for the moderates. They can take the CBO and stand on it against the bill, using it as a further argument as to why passing this bill makes no sense. Are they going to stick to their guns and not push through this pork-laden piece of something that’s going to drive up inflation and the deficit? Or are they going to cave to the progressives and the party?
Once again, this says a lot about Biden’s honesty…or the lack thereof.