The bipartisan infrastructure bill would add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, according to a highly anticipated nonpartisan budget report that will likely exacerbate concerns among Republicans regarding the price tag of President Biden's initiative.
The Congressional Budget Office's primary cost estimate for the marquee legislation that the Senate is currently debating undercuts the authors' initial arguments that the legislation is fully paid for and would therefore not drive up the national debt.
Republicans are generally leery of approving any infrastructure legislation that raises taxes or adds to the deficit. The new CBO score may give Republicans already concerned about the bill ammunition to vote no.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. said the CBO report proves that the authors' insistence that legislation would not increase the debt is untrue.
This will surely heap huge amounts of debt onto future generations, Daines tweeted.
The CBO analysis found the bipartisan infrastructure package would increase discretionary spending by $415 billion, decrease net spending by $110 billion and increase federal revenues by $50 billion from 2021 -- 2031.
On net, the legislation would add $256 billion to projected deficits over that period, the report said.
The CBO noted that it did not include the bill's potential impact on internal economy, including factors such as national productivity and foreign gains tied to infrastructure improvements.
Enacting this legislation would cause macroeconomic effects that in turn would cause fiscal feedback, the agency said. CBO has not estimated those effects or their budgetary consequences for this legislation.
Negotiated by a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers and supported by Biden, the infrastructure deal includes $550 billion in new spending for related projects over 10 year period. The price tag includes investments in clean infrastructure including roads, bridges, and road development systems.
The CBO's analysis indicates that the pay-fors included in the bill were not enough to cover the entire cost of new spending proposed. Although the agency's findings were expected, they could provide fodder to Republicans who have argued Biden's plan is too expensive.
A number of senators have raised legitimate concerns about this legislation, such as whether the proposed pay-fors are sufficient to keep this bill from driving up our debt and they deserve to have the chance to air those concerns and offer possible solutions, Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota said earlier this week.
A total of 17 Senate Republicans joined with Republican Senators last month to advance the infrastructure bill. Mitch McConnell was among the Republicans who supported his Senate Majority Leader.
Republicans have resisted calls by Biden to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans to cover costs. Biden says his tax plan would pay for the entirety of his two proposal infrastructure.