House Democrats appear determined to forge ahead with the Manchin-Schumer social spending and taxation plan despite their lack of knowledge on the fiscal implications of the legislation.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan agency that analyzes the impact of legislation on the budget, it will be “weeks” before an updated analysis can be completed on the bill, officially called the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Given the scope of the amendments to title I, Committee on Finance, CBO expects that it will be a few weeks before we can fully analyze and estimate those budgetary effects, at which point we will provide a complete cost estimate for the legislation,” CBO Director Phillip Swagel wrote in a Thursday letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget.
The CBO completed an analysis on the original “Build Back Better” bill that passed the House in November, but not on the latest version of the bill agreed to by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that passed in the Senate on Sunday.
Despite the unavailable data, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has scheduled a vote on the bill for Friday, raising questions over why Democrats seem to be in a rush to pass the legislation amid uncertainty over party unity behind it and sharp criticism from Republicans.
The rush to vote on the legislation also serves as a stark reminder of Democrats’ heavily scrutinized efforts to pass a health care reform bill, known as ObamaCare, in 2010 without members of Congress knowing the full contents of the bill.
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” Pelosi said at the time.
According to Democrats, the Inflation Reduction Act spends $433 billion, but would raise $739 billion in revenue over a period of years.