CBO releases cost estimate of Biden plan

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Thursday released its full cost estimate of the Build Back Better Act, House Democrats' social spending package, hours before lawmakers were expected to vote on the bill.

The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper said that the massive bill put forward to advance President Biden's agenda would increase the deficit by $367 billion over 10 years.

However, that number does not take into account $207 billion in revenue that the CBO estimates would be raised by providing the IRS with more money for enforcement.


A group of House moderates had sought information about the bill's cost prior to a vote on the legislation, which advances Biden's economic agenda and includes spending and tax cuts in areas such as health care, climate and education. Moderates are expected to be satisfied by the CBO's estimate.

The Treasury Department has estimated that the IRS funding provision would raise significantly more revenue than the budget office estimated, and some moderates have expressed support for Treasury's larger estimate.

The CBO score set off a debate over whether the bill is paid for.

Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenSchumer: 'Goal' is to pass Biden spending bill before Christmas The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back No deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline MORE said in a statement Thursday that the bill is fully paid for when looking at multiple analyses.

"The combination of CBO’s scores over the last week, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates, and Treasury analysis, make it clear that Build Back Better is fully paid for, and in fact will reduce our nation’s debt over time by generating more than $2 trillion through reforms that ask the wealthiest Americans and large corporations to pay their fair share," she said.

Republicans, who oppose the bill, attacked Democrats over the CBO estimate.

"The economists at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just issued a warning to House Democrats," Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay CBO releases cost estimate of Biden plan Real conservatives must make a choice MORE (R-Neb.) said in a statement. "This bill is a craptacular mess that will grow the deficit and lead to a million more annual IRS audits."