Bipartisan infrastructure Bill would add $256 billion in deficits: CBO Says

CBO has released its much-anticipated score for the bipartisan infrastructure plan now under consideration in the Senate, estimating the package would add $256 billion in deficits over ten years, countering negotiators’ claim it would be fully paid for.

The report from the nonpartisan agency did not take into account potential revenue increases created by economic growth. As it stands, the CBO said the bill, which does not include tax increases, would generate about $50 billion in revenue.

Sens. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), two of the lead negotiators for the package, released a statement Thursday calling on lawmakers to support the legislation.

“The new spending under the bill is offset through a combination of new revenue and savings, some of which is reflected in the formal CBO score and some of which is reflected in other savings and additional revenue identified in estimates, as CBO is limited in what it can include in its formal score,” the pair said.

Many Republicans have said for weeks that they wanted to see an official analysis showing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill is being “credibly” paid for.

“We need to get a score, so we need to see whether the proposal is credibly paid for,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in late June when he said he was undecided over whether to support the legislation.

McConnell was one of 17 Republicans who voted last week to proceed to the bill, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll support final passage.

The Committee on Responsible Federal Budget, a group that advocates for fiscal responsibility and smaller deficits, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that the bipartisan bill would add $340 billion to the deficit if all spending were added together.

As the CBO explains, the direct expenditures, resources, and revenue in the legislation would have a net cost of $256 billion. In addition, the legislation would increase the “contracting authority” for highways and transport companies by about $9 billion over five years, and lays the foundation for an increase of $196 billion in contract,” the group wrote in an analysis.

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