The Build Back Better Act represents a central part of President Biden’s policy agenda and an attempt by congressional Democrats to go at it alone without GOP support to enact a major expansion of the social safety net.
The House and Senate recently passed, and Biden then signed into law, a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, which marked a major legislative achievement for both parties.
The Build Back Better Act is an effort by Democrats to build on that investment in traditional infrastructure by making extensive investments to ramp up social programs and address the climate crisis.
Among its many provisions, the legislation would create a universal pre-K program, extend the enhanced child tax credit and expand access to health care, affordable housing and home care for seniors.
The Congressional Budget Office released its final scoring for the bill early Thursday evening, estimating that the package “would result in a net increase in the deficit totaling $367 billion over the 2022-2031 period, not counting any additional revenue that may be generated by additional funding for tax enforcement,” according to a summary.
The White House worked to make the case that the bill will be fully paid for, despite the CBO analysis showing a shortfall.
Senior White House officials Brian Deese and Louisa Terrell met with moderate House Democrats after the numbers were released, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The CBO’s analysis score does not include revenue from tighter IRS enforcement. The CBO estimated earlier that would raise $207 billion.
The White House argues that increased IRS enforcement would actually raise more than what the CBO projects, meaning the bill would be fully paid for in their estimate.
Read more about the legislation here.