Rep. Josh Gottheimer, the Democratic co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, indicated Sunday that he wants to wait for an official cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before moving forward on President Joe Biden’s economic agenda bill.
“I think what’s most important for people to understand is, the responsible thing to do when you get a piece of legislation like this is to do a full analysis and to understand the impact on your district and the families in your district. And that’s what I’m looking at, to make sure that when we vote for this and give the country this win that we deliver the way we should deliver,” the New Jersey Democrat told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” also expressing optimism that the bill would be fully paid for.
Congress passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday after it stalled in the House where some Democrats attached its fate to the party’s large social spending package.
Gottheimer and four other House Democrats said in a statement Friday that they “commit” to voting for the Build Back Better Act “in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously” as they get the fiscal data from the CBO — “but in no event later than the week of November 15th.” A detailed cost estimate of the bill from the CBO, however, could take about two weeks. The group of Democrats added that they would work to “resolve any discrepancies” if the CBO score is inconsistent with the White House’s analysis of the bill.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive Independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, slammed some Democrats for wanting to make sure that the social spending bill is fully paid for but voting for passage of the infrastructure bill.
On Sunday, Gottheimer said on CNN, “What we committed to was that we believe the information will be back on that week from the Congressional Budget Office, more of the data to ensure that this bill is paid for and does the responsible thing fiscally.”
“And we plan to move forward, because it’s going to meet our expectations, I’m sure,” he added.
Pressed by Bash further on the matter, Gottheimer replied, “We just want to make sure we get that data and that we’re able to align it with what we had received already.”
He said they’ve received data from the Treasury Department, the White House and some early CBO analysis, and expects more fiscal data in the next seven to 10 days that will “match up as presented,” allowing them to “move forward” on the Build Back Better package.
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