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House moves toward OK of Dems’ sweeping social, climate bill | Govt. & Politics



“Too many Americans are just barely getting by in our economy,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “And we simply can’t go back to the way things were before the pandemic.”

An initial batch of key figures released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showed that its projections were aligning closely with earlier estimates from the White House. That included tax credits to spur clean energy development, bolstered child care assistance and extended tax breaks for millions of families with children, lower-earning workers and people buying private health insurance.

The measure would provide $109 billion to create free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. There were large sums for home health care for seniors, new Medicare coverage for hearing and a new requirement for four weeks of paid family leave. The family leave program, however, was expected to be removed in the Senate, where it’s been opposed by Manchin.

In one major but expected difference, CBO estimated that by spending $80 billion to beef up IRS tax enforcement, the agency would collect $207 billion in new revenue over the coming decade. That meant net savings of $127 billion, well below the White House’s more optimistic $400 billion estimate.

In a scorekeeping quirk, CBO formally estimated that the legislation would drive up federal budget deficits by $367 billion over the coming decade. The agency’s budget guidelines technically require it to not count IRS savings when measuring a bill’s deficit impact. But it acknowledged that the measure’s true impact would produce added shortfalls of the lower figure — $160 billion — when counting added revenue the IRS would collect.



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