September 23, 2023

A woman holds an umbrella against the sun as she walks across the U.S. Capitol grounds during a Washington heat wave, July 12, 2021, days after the security fences were removed.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

The Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill would add $ 256 billion to the budget deficit over a decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday.

The report by the bipartisan agency did not take into account possible revenue increases from economic growth. According to the CBO, the bill, which does not include tax increases, would generate approximately $ 50 billion in revenue.

Senators who worked out the plan announced that it would be paid in full from a number of sources including repurposed coronavirus relief funds, unused unemployment insurance aid, and investment-generated economic activity.

In a statement in response to the CBO estimate, Senior Infrastructure Negotiators Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., Said that the bill’s spending “was driven by a combination of new revenue and Savings will be offset, some of which “reflect what is reflected in the formal CBO score and some of which is reflected in other savings and additional revenue identified in estimates as there is limited CBO’s ability to add to its formal score.” They said, they would work to get the bill passed by Congress and go into effect.

The Senate was considering changes to the bill Thursday, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., intends to pass it before early next week. The release of the CBO report was one of the key steps that remain before the Senate votes on the proposal.

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The law provides for approximately $ 550 billion in new spending on transport, broadband, and utilities.

Republicans renewed their concerns about federal spending and deficits as the Democratic Congress and White House push for trillions of dollars to be invested in infrastructure and welfare programs. Several GOP senators, whose support may be needed to pass the bill, said its impact on long-term deficits would play a role in the decision to vote on it.

It’s unclear whether the CBO’s score would be enough to make Republicans who support the plan reconsider their support for it. Senators who voted to move the bill forward, including Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Said they wanted to see the CBO’s estimate of the cost of the plan.

President Joe Biden proposed a more than $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan earlier this year, calling for the corporate tax rate to be increased to 28% to pay for it.

Republicans criticized his plan, saying they would not support a bill that reversed their 2017 tax cuts. The law lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

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