House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House is poised to vote on the $1.75 trillion social spending plan as soon as the Congressional Budget Office releases its report, or score, on the legislation’s effect on the federal deficit.
“Debate on the legislation began today at 10:15 a.m.,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a so-called “Dear Colleague” letter.
“In preparation for the vote on the Floor, we have received most of the information that we need from the Senate parliamentarian on the privilege scrub,” she added, referring to estimates of how the bill will be paid for.
”As soon as we receive the final CBO estimates for Member review, we can then proceed to votes on the revised Rule with the Manager’s Amendment and final passage,” Pelosi went on.
So far, the CBO has released assessments of 11 sections of the current bill and has found that four of them would increase the federal deficit by a total of more than $900 billion if part of the final legislation.
One House member told The Post that the CBO could release its ultimate findings by Thursday evening, and Pelosi said she was expecting assessments of the remaining sections of the bill before 5 p.m.
The speaker warned Democratic members earlier this week that they will not leave the Capitol for their scheduled Thanksgiving recess until the package is passed.
But many moderate Democrats have said they won’t back the spending plan until the nonpartisan CBO releases its estimate and they can determine what effect it will have on the deficit.
At the same time, the White House has reportedly been telling Democrats to ignore the cost estimates if the CBO finds President Biden’s spending plan will not be fully paid for.
According to the New York Times, the White House is predicting the estimate “is likely to find that the cost of the overall package will not be fully paid for with new tax revenue over the coming decade.”
Biden and members of his administration have long touted that the bill will cost “zero dollars,” saying increased corporate taxes, the closing of tax loopholes for wealthy Americans, and other reforms will create enough offsets.
Democrats have an eight-seat majority in the House of Representatives and can only afford to have three members of their caucus join all Republicans in voting against the bill before it fails.
Among the hurdles facing Democrats is intra-party squabbling over a provision raising or repealing the state and local tax deduction cap, which critics argue provides a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) is among those who have come out against the policy,
but members who represent high-tax states like New York and New Jersey have asserted including the increased deduction limit is necessary to retain their support for the measure.
“No SALT, no dice,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) told The Post Thursday.