President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.75 trillion domestic spending bill does not raise enough revenue to cover its costs, a nonpartisan arbiter said on Thursday, a finding disputed by bill advocates that could undercut moderate Democrats’ confidence and threaten passage.
The Congressional Budget Office, charged with evaluating the cost of legislation, found that the “Build Back Better” act, intended to strengthen the U.S. social safety net and fight climate change, would raise the federal deficit by $367 billion over the next decade.
It should be noted that CBO says its estimate does not count any additional revenues that might be generated by added funding for tax enforcement.
Advocates of the spending plan have contended it is all paid for.
So said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who in a report on Thursday insisted that a combination of estimates done by the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and Treasury showed that a $1.75 trillion social and climate spending bill would be “fully paid for.”
In fact, Yellen said, the “Build Back Better” legislation would reduce the U.S. debt over time by generating more than $2 trillion in revenues by ensuring the wealthiest Americans and large corporations paid their fair share.
She added the Treasury expected increased funding for Internal Revenue Service efforts to crack down on those who do not pay taxes would generate $400 billion in additional revenue, a factor not fully included in the CBO analysis.