President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package passed in March will end up with a larger price tag over the next ten years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO reported Friday that the law will reach a price of $2.1 trillion due to interest costs, an estimate that was released after a request came in from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. The office also said that the debt burden held by the public will be as much as 113 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2031.
CBO said that Biden’s big-spending initiative would pile up $208 billion in borrowing costs.
The estimates, however, don’t include how the legislation’s effects could impact the economy.
Republicans and critics of the president’s legislative agenda have blasted Biden for his spending plans. More recently, GOP lawmakers have stayed laser-focused on thwarting Biden’s efforts to pass his roughly $3.5 trillion two-part infrastructure and families bill, a measure that Democrats want to be funded by raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans.
But Republicans say the bill goes far beyond traditional infrastructure spending, as they’ve proposed a $568 billion infrastructure bill, with a focus on hard infrastructure, rural broadband and transit.
“Negotiations should continue, but it’s important to note that there’s a fundamental difference here and at the heart of the negotiations is defining the scope of the bill: What is infrastructure?” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I think we’re still pretty far apart.”
The CBO also found that raising non-defense spending in 2022, a move that the president has called for, would add another $655 billion in spending through 2031, assuming that spending levels would align with increases for inflation.
The budget increase would include $47 million from interest costs and create a debt burden held by the public of 115 percent of GDP in ten years.
In response to another request from Graham, the CBO estimated that the relief plan, the increased non-defense discretionary funding and the infrastructure and families bills would hit a price of $7.6 trillion, with debt held by the public 130 percent of GDP by the end of the decade, assuming there was no legislative action taken to boost the government’s revenues.
But Biden has repeatedly said that his upcoming infrastructure and jobs plans will not be funded by increasing the national deficit.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.