The Corner

Politics & Policy

CBO Says Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Would Add $256 Billion to Deficits

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) speaks in support of a judicial nominees during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Despite repeated claims by supporters that the bipartisan infrastructure package would be fully “paid for,” the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday said the bill would actually add $256 billion to deficits.

The official scorekeeper of Congress wrote that, “over the 2021–2031 period, enacting Senate Amendment 2137 to H.R. 3684 would decrease direct spending by $110 billion, increase revenues by $50 billion, and increase discretionary spending by $415 billion. On net, the legislation would add $256 billion to projected deficits over that period.”

Supporters of the law have insisted it was paid for.

“It’s paid for,” Republican senator Rob Portman has said. “We do it without raising taxes.”

Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema claimed, “So, we’ve taken a lot of time to ensure that we were paying for this package, and doing so in a way that was responsible and that was defensible.”

And Senator Mitt Romney claimed on the Senate floor, “This is a bill which is paid for.”

Now, the CBO has determined that it is not, which could throw a monkey wrench into plans to get it across the finish line given that paying for the new spending had been one of the main stumbling blocks throughout negotiations.

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