Sen. Joe Manchin recently stated that it was not fair for the $4.9 trillion Build Back Better Act to rely on budget gimmicks in order to conceal the bill’s cost. Manchin, who was the pivotal swing vote for the Build Back Better Act said that the legislation needed to be drastically changed in order to win his support. To make the bill seem less expensive, he stressed that the legislation shouldn’t use arbitrary policy sunsets for large spending programs.
Manchin stated that he doesn’t believe that is a fair assessment of spending X amount of money, but that we will have to rely on returning and finding more money.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would cost $4.9 trillion over ten years and add $3 trillion to the deficit if some of its programs were made permanent. These temporary sunsets were used by Democrats to make the bill conform to the Senate’s budgetary reconciliation rules. This allows the Senate to pass reconciliation legislation, such as Build Back Better, with a simple majority.
Manchin stated that the CBO report was “sobering” and that he remains concerned about the impact of the bill on inflation.