COVID-19 pandemic will cost U.S. $16 trillion over 10 years, CBO estimates

The CBO also estimated the HEROES Act stimulus bill would cost taxpayers $3.4 trillion over 10 years if signed into law.

Updated: June 2, 2020 - 12:15pm

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The COVID-19 pandemic will cost the U.S. economy $16 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"CBO projects that over the 2020–2030 period, cumulative nominal output will be $15.7 trillion less than what the agency projected in January," according to a CBO report released Monday. 

In the CBO's May 2020 report, "the level of nominal GDP" for the second quarter of 2020 was projected at $790 billion lower than the agency's original forecast in January of this year. 

The nonpartisan CBO also estimated that the HEROES Act stimulus bill that the Democratic-led House recently passed would cost $3.4 trillion over 10 years if signed into law.

The bill would provide states and localities with $1 trillion in federal assistance, expand vote-by-mail and require every state to mail ballots to all registered voters for the November election as well as provide another round of stimulus payments. The direct payments would be extended retroactively to illegal immigrants who filed tax returns with tax ID numbers.

Republican leaders of the GOP-controlled Senate have made clear that they are open to another round of stimulus spending but have said that the House bill, which President Trump has vowed to veto, will not pass in their chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted to the CBO's findings on Monday evening.

“The scale of the economic devastation of COVID-19 is unlike anything our nation has ever seen, threatening to wipe a staggering $16 trillion from the American economy," she said in a statement. "Immediate action is needed to protect lives and livelihoods during this unprecedented moment of catastrophe. 
Pelosi also argued that "the most expensive course of action is no action."  

"Senator McConnell and President Trump must join us in supporting the smart, strategic and targeted investment of The Heroes Act. The American economy and American workers’ financial security are at risk of devastation," she said.


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