‘Gimmicks’ in reconciliation bill cover up over $1T in spending, US Chamber of Commerce says

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the authors of the Democrat-backed reconciliation bill of using “gimmicks to cover up well over $1 trillion in spending,” and called on Congress to identify the bill’s actual “real-world impact.”

The business group published a letter it sent to politicians in D.C. on Wednesday demanding that they consider the cost of the legislation, its inflationary impact and how the policies will impact future workforce participation.

President Biden is expected to sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday during a ceremony at the White House. The bill provides funding for physical infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, water pipes and broadband internet. Democrats are now zeroing in on the president’s even bigger $1.75 trillion package aimed at expanding health, child, elder care and climate change programs.

Congress hasn’t been this narrowly split in 20 years, with a Democratic margin of just a few seats in the House and the current 50-50 split Senate.

According to the chamber, the reconciliation bill has sunset provisions that “disguise the true cost of the bill.” These provisions essentially expire after a certain amount of time, but then could be extended. So the amount looks smaller than the actual total cost.

The New York Times reported that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVa., called these provisions “shell games” and the actual cost of the reconciliation bill could be double the amount being discussed.

 

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