The bipartisan infrastructure plan making its way through the Senate will “add $256 billion to projected deficits” between 2021 and 2031, a report from the Congressional Budget Office released Thursday found.
“The Congressional Budget Office estimates 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,” the report said. “On net, the legislation would add $256 billion to projected deficits over that period.”
While the plan has bipartisan support in the Senate, some lawmakers had cited the need for a CBO score before deciding whether to support the measure. It’s unclear how or if Thursday’s report will sway members of Congress who are still making up their minds.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas predicted the deal will pass the Senate despite the CBO score.
“I think the infrastructure bill will pass,” he said, adding, “It’s got enough support.”
But Cornyn made clear he does not support adding more to the deficit and called the score a “real problem.”
“We’ve pulled out on the stops of Covid-19 because it was literally an emergency and now this is kind of bread and butter legislating and we’re not going to pay for it, we’re going to add more to the deficits and debt,” Cornyn said. “I think that’s a problem. But I think we need to work harder to try and come up with credible payfors.”
The Senate has been debating and voting on amendments to the legislation throughout the week. Amendment votes got underway on Monday as bipartisan negotiators raced to finalize the bill text during a rare weekend session, which was finally unveiled Sunday evening. The next step is for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to cut off debate which could come later Thursday.
The massive bipartisan infrastructure package, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, features $550 billion in new federal spending over five years. The measure invests $110 billion in funding toward roads, bridges and major projects, $66 billion in passenger and freight rail, $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid, $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access, $39 billion to modernize and expand transit systems and $7.5 billion to create the first federal network of charging stations for electric vehicles. The bill additionally includes $55 billion for water infrastructure, $15 billion of which will be directed toward replacing lead pipes.
Congressional leaders are hoping to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan in the coming days before turning to a partisan, $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, aimed at delivering on other key parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.
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