In a letter this week to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the top Republicans on the House and Senate Budget Committees pushed the agency to provide a true cost estimate of the Democrats’ tax and spending reconciliation bill if provisions within the bill were made permanent, as is the intent of Democrats. House Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (MO-08) and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) noted that the reconciliation bill includes arbitrary sunset dates for several costly provisions in order to make the cost of the bill appear less expensive.

“Washington Democrats are using budget gimmicks to deceive the American people about the real cost of their agenda,” said Ranking Member Smith. “They have made no secret of the fact that they have every intention of making these programs permanent, and yet they continue to make bizarre claims that the most expensive bill in American history will cost ‘zero’ despite analyses showing it will spend $4.5 trillion and add $3 trillion to the deficit. While Democrats stick their head in the sand and try to ignore the consequences of their actions, American families are already dealing with the fallout – whether it is the highest spike in prices in forty years, an energy crisis, or a border crisis. Instead of solving those challenges, Democrats are fixated on an agenda that will bankrupt the economy, benefit the wealthy, and build the Washington bureaucracy.”

In their letter to CBO, Smith and Graham provided a list of provisions within the reconciliation bill that Democrats intend to make permanent, including the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit expansions which the bill currently sunsets after 2022, the Child Care and Universal Pre-Kindergarten provisions which the bill currently sunsets after 2027, and the expanded Obamacare subsidies which the bill currently sunsets after 2025.

“While it is clear this package, as written, already has multi-trillion-dollar implications for federal spending, revenues, and deficits, a formal estimate will fail to capture the true cost of the bill given the long-term legislative intent of Congressional Democrats,” wrote Ranking Members Smith and Graham. “Democrats from both sides of the Capitol have made it clear that they will work to make many of their proposals permanent.”

Smith and Graham continued, “American taxpayers, who will ultimately pay for the massive expansion of federal programs and policies called for in this legislation, should be aware of the actual cost of this legislation.”

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