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Upton, House Republicans Request Full and Transparent Appraisal of Democrats’ Partisan Spending Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined 205 of his Republican colleagues in sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer requesting a full and transparent appraisal by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of the Democrats’ partisan reconciliation spending package, which has since been slashed from $3.5 trillion to roughly $1.8 trillion. Five House Democrats – all of whom are members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus – have also sent a letter to the CBO requesting an overall price tag before they could vote for the reconciliation package. Some reports have estimated that this partisan legislation could add roughly $3 trillion to the national debt, plunging the country more than $30 trillion into debt.

“Spending an additional $2 trillion on top of the nearly $5 trillion we have already approved in just the last year is reckless and premature,” said Rep. Upton. “Inflation is surging, gas prices are spiking, paychecks are shrinking, and folks in Michigan and nationwide want us to turn off the printing presses in Washington. It is my hope that we can get an accurate CBO score that will reflect the real costs of this massive tax-and-spend package on future generations and our ever-growing national debt.”

“For months, Congress has been engaged in ongoing debate about what will be included in the reconciliation bill and its overall cost. While we the undersigned have serious concerns with the portions of the bill that we have seen, certainly we should all be able to agree that Members of Congress should have a full accounting of how this bill will impact spending, deficits, and debt now and in the future,” the lawmakers wrote. “To date, CBO has provided estimates for less than ten percent of the bill reported by the Budget Committee. Based on the available estimates, three authorizing committees have exceeded their respective reconciliation targets.”

The lawmakers continued “Our nation is also experiencing record levels of inflation, and many economists cite increased federal spending as a root cause. Inflation is on pace to exceed 7 percent this year – the highest it’s been in forty years. Americans are facing increased costs for everyday necessities – gas prices are up 58 percent, meat prices are up 14.5 percent, clothing prices are up 10.5 percent, and coffee prices are up 6.1 percent. All Americans are experiencing this inflation crisis, particularly working-class families. As Congress considers spending trillions more of American taxpayer dollars, then as stewards of the public trust we should not commit to do so until a full accounting of this legislation’s potential fiscal impact is available, both in the short and over the long term. Giving the CBO time to provide Congress with this critical analysis will ensure we know the potential impact of this legislation before making this critical decision.”

Upton has been opposed to the Democrats’ partisan spending package since day one. Witnessing firsthand labor shortages and surging gas prices, he has voiced serious concerns about the negative impact it will have on job creators, workers, hardworking families, and the economy at large in Southwest Michigan and nationwide. Upton will continue to advocate for polices that grow the economy, spur local investment, lower taxes on middle-class families and small businesses, and encourage robust employment.

You can read the full letter HERE or below:

Dear Madam Speaker and Majority Leader Hoyer,

We write to you requesting you permit the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to fulfill its responsibility and publish a full cost estimate for the fiscal year 2022 reconciliation bill, H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, before the House of Representatives considers and votes on this legislation.

For months, Congress has been engaged in ongoing debate about what will be included in the reconciliation bill and its overall cost. While we the undersigned have serious concerns with the portions of the bill that we have seen, certainly we should all be able to agree that Members of Congress should have a full accounting of how this bill will impact spending, deficits, and debt now and in the future. To date, CBO has provided estimates for less than ten percent of the bill reported by the Budget Committee. Based on the available estimates, three authorizing committees have exceeded their respective reconciliation targets.

As we approach the end of the year without having completed the annual appropriations process as well as facing a looming debt ceiling cliff, it would be unconscionable to commit to the purported trillions of dollars that the reconciliation bill might cost without knowing its true price tag. Given that the price of this bill makes it the most expensive piece of legislation in American history, it is imperative Members of Congress are not asked to vote on it until a full cost estimate is available for their review.

The Administration claims that the plan will add nothing to the federal deficit. Given the policies that may or may not be included in the final package at this point, we find that difficult to believe. According to some estimates, the current form of the reconciliation bill would add as much as $3 trillion to our national debt, which already sits at more than $28 trillion.

Our nation is also experiencing record levels of inflation, and many economists cite increased federal spending as a root cause. Inflation is on pace to exceed 7 percent this year – the highest it’s been in forty years. Americans are facing increased costs for everyday necessities – gas prices are up 58 percent, meat prices are up 14.5 percent, clothing prices are up 10.5 percent, and coffee prices are up 6.1 percent. All Americans are experiencing this inflation crisis, particularly working-class families. As Congress considers spending trillions more of American taxpayer dollars, then as stewards of the public trust we should not commit to do so until a full accounting of this legislation’s potential fiscal impact is available, both in the short and over the long term. Giving the CBO time to provide Congress with this critical analysis will ensure we know the potential impact of this legislation before making this critical decision.

Allowing the CBO to do its job before a vote on this legislation will help answer these questions. Both the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and House Rule XIII require a formal score of this bill prior to House consideration. It would be both imprudent and a disservice to Congress and the American people to ignore these requirements given the broad scope and reported cost of this legislation.

We thank you for your consideration of this request and hope you will give Congress and the American people a chance to know what the reconciliation bill will cost before voting on it.

Sincerely,

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