A week ago during a news conference to update reporters about the progress of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion-plus spending bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated with great
confidence. "It's not about a dollar amount… The dollar amount, as the president said, is zero. This bill will be paid for.”
And Pelosi was right, at least about who was saying the bill would “cost nothing” because the Biden White House has been trying to sell that line for at least two weeks, with Biden himself saying that the bill is “going to cost nothing.”
“We pay for everything we spend,” Biden said at the White House according to reporting by ABC News. “It’s going to be zero. Zero.”
As Rich Lowrey of National Review wrote, “Trying to redefine the cost of a $3.5 trillion bill as zero must rank among the most shameless, patently absurd attempts to change reality through a talking point ever attempted.”
However, that talking point is getting some support from the Far Left of the establishment media, with Steve Benen of MSNBC writing, “If Democrats intend to invest $3.5 trillion, but they also intend to pay for all that without adding to the national debt, then for all intents and purposes, the package costs nothing — since unlike the GOP's 2017 tax breaks, the safety-net-and-climate plan will be deficit neutral.”
And Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), a lead negotiator for Far Left House progressive Democrats, told reporters they should not depict the measure as costing trillions of dollars when the accompanying proposed tax increases would cover the cost.
“I just believe that this is going to be a zero-dollar-bill — that’s the No. 1 priority,” she said.
But here’s the dirty little secret about the bill all the Capitol Hill insiders know, but none of them will acknowledge: They have no idea how much it will cost, even under the bent rules Democrats will demand be used to account for the taxes and spending in the bill, because the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t even scored the bill yet.
Naomi Jagoda of The Hill, reported Wednesday that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated it is "unclear" when it will complete a cost estimate of the entirety of the Democratic-backed social spending package approved by House committees.
"The legislation being considered by the House is complex, and provisions in some committees’ recommendations interact with those of other committees," CBO Director Phillip Swagel said in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "Moreover, the agency has had to devote substantial resources to providing technical assistance as committees continue to modify their proposals."
Ms. Jagoda further reported, the CBO said Wednesday that it has only finished cost estimates for four of the committees' bill portions, and expects to finish estimates for another two committees' portions this week. CBO hasn't finished an estimate of the package in its entirety.
"The agency has not estimated how the entire package would affect direct spending, revenues, deficits, or spending that would be subject to appropriation," Swagel wrote. "CBO also has not completed its analysis of all of the mandates that the bill might impose on intergovernmental or private-sector entities."
CBO said that the bill is complicated because it would create some new programs and substantially increase funding in other areas. The scorekeeper also noted that provisions advanced by some House committees are related to provisions from other committees, and it can't complete the estimates for those proposals until after it finishes analyzing the interactions, reported Ms. Jagoda.
Translation: They only know how much two provisions of the bill will cost, provided the Democrats don’t change anything, and they have no idea what the final cost of the whole package is to the overall economy.
So, when Biden, and especially Pelosi, claim that the Democrats’ reconciliation bill will be paid for or the cost will be “zero” they are lying, and they know they are lying, because Pelosi knows the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t finished scoring the bill.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), call today and tell your Representative to vote NO on Pelosi’s big lie.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)
$3.5 trillion Build Back Better
Congressional Budget Office
CBO Director Phillip Swagel