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Lawmakers will have to wait for full score on Democrats' social spending bill

Congressional Budget Office says it will start releasing cost estimates for the legislation this week.

November 9, 2021 3:07pm

Updated: November 9, 2021 3:50pm

Lawmakers will have to wait for a full score on the House Democrats' social spending bill, according to an official from the Congressional Budget Office, who indicated that estimates for parts of the legislation may come out bit-by-bit.

The office will start releasing estimates of portions of the social spending bill this week, according to CBO Director Phillip Swagel, who said that a cost estimate of the full bill will be released "as soon as practicable."

"We anticipate releasing estimates for individual titles of the bill as we complete them, some of which will be released this week," Swagel said in a blog post on CBO's website. "Other estimates will take longer, particularly for provisions in some titles that interact with those in other titles."

Swagel's comments appear to be a response to a small group of moderate House Democrats who want to learn more about the cost of the bill from CBO before voting on the proposal, which includes a number of the party's priorities.

On Friday, progressives and moderates reached a deal that permitted the House to hold a procedural vote on the spending bill as well as to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate.

Five House moderates – as part of the deal – issued a statement in which they said they are committed to voting for the spending bill "as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office – but in no event later than the week of November 15th." 

The legislators who issued the statement included: Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii). In their statement, lawmakers did not indicate how much information they need from CBO before their vote.

The Democrats' social spending bill, which is financed primarily through tax increases on high-income individuals and companies, covers an extensive range of issues, including global warming, child care and health care. It was estimated last week that the tax-increase provisions would raise about $1.5 trillion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

"When we determine a release date for the cost estimate for the entire bill, we will provide advance notice," Swagel said.