Fiscal watchdog group urges House not to pass $3.5T budget bill

"Now is not the time to further explode our national debt," warns the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Updated: August 24, 2021 - 11:18am

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-led House not to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation resolution.

The organization warned the $1.75 trillion in borrowing under the resolution is "irresponsible" and "harmful."

Using budget reconciliation allowed Democrats to pass the budget resolution in the Senate without any votes from Republicans. 

The CRFB estimated that the new spending initiatives in the resolution could wind up costing taxpayers a total of $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

The Senate passed a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the CRFB said will borrow $400 billion over the next decade.

"Taken together, passage of these efforts could set the stage for $4.3 trillion of new debt before extending any of its expiring policies, enough to lift debt to a massive 119 percent of the economy by the end of the decade," according to a CRFB analysis.

CRFB president Maya MacGuineas said on Monday that the Senate budget resolution should be a "non-starter" in the House.

"It allows for $1.75 trillion of direct new borrowing at a time when debt is already headed to record levels," said MacGuineas. "That kind of borrowing made sense during the recession and pandemic, but it would be irresponsible and harmful going forward."

MacGuineas urged Pelosi to follow through on her previous commitment that the House would pass infrastructure legislation that is paid for instead of adding to the national debt.

"House Leadership has long supported pay-as-you-go budgeting, and now is not the time to abandon it," said MacGuineas.

"Rather than setting the stage for $1.75 trillion of new borrowing, the House should identify additional revenue and spending reductions so that infrastructure legislation is fully paid for and thus supports stronger economic growth," she said. "Now is not the time to further explode our national debt."

The national debt is approaching $29 trillion, according to Treasury data.

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