By Jay Heflin - 05/28/10 09:18 PM EDT
The bill's projected cost is $113 billion, which resuscitates expired tax breaks and extends expiring spending provisions, like unemployment relief. But only $60 billion of the total figure offset.
Democratic leaders contend the remaining portions of the bill don't require offsets because they are deemed emergency measures, which is disconcerting to the budget group.
"While the 'emergency' provisions may be important, they are hardly emergencies in the sense that they are not a surprise to anyone," the group states. "Policymakers have known for a long time that unemployment benefits would need to be extended -- programs like these have undergone several rounds of temporary extensions already. Politicians have had plenty of time to think through potential offsets."
The group argues that offsetting these costs would send a message to U.S. borrowers that the country is serious about paying down its debts.
House negotiators scaled back the extender package to accommodate cost concerns. The group argues it does little to address the debt and deficit issue that is facing the country.
"[Simply] shortening the length which these policies are extended will not do the trick, if the goal is to extend them again," the group states. "Temporary policies should be that -- temporary -- and emergency measures should not be used as a back door effort to make them permanent. If the real intention is to extend these policies for a longer time... the focus should be on offsetting the costs."