President Joe Biden’s social spending bill is under fire from all sides. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blasted the plan this week. Like Senator Joe Manchin, the Chamber is pointing to record inflation and arguing that more information is needed on the legislation.
“We have the highest inflation in 31 years, employers are struggling to fill a record number of job openings, and the current draft of the reconciliation bill uses gimmicks to cover up well over $1 trillion in spending,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. “It would be the height of irresponsibility for Members of Congress to vote on this multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spend bill with no clear understanding of its true cost or the real-world impact of the policies.”
The spending bill began at $3.5 trillion, but lawmakers claim they have cut the cost down to less than $2 trillion. However, many experts say the actual plan is much higher.
The Chamber sent a letter to Congress raising more concerns about the plan.
“As currently drafted, the reconciliation bill would expand or create new entitlement programs and refundable tax credits, but then sunsets many of these programs – in some cases after just one year – to disguise the true cost of the bill. Given that that the bill’s proponents clearly intend for these programs to continue past their sunset, lawmakers should be provided with a Congressional Budget Office estimate of the true cost of the bill if these programs were permanent,” the letter said. “Experts at the Penn Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania have estimated that if these programs were made permanent, the actual cost of the spending included in the bill would be $4.1 trillion.”
The letter left Congress with several questions that need answering.
From the letter:
The Chamber believes it is impossible to have an accurate understanding of the budgetary and economic implications of this legislation without an analysis of:
1) The cost of the legislation if spending and tax provisions are not arbitrarily sunset in order to reduce the apparent cost of the bill;
2) the impact arbitrarily sunsetting new programs will have on state governments and the private sector;
3) the inflationary impact of the proposed spending and tax provisions; and
4) the impact of the policies on workforce participation.