McConnell, Graham ask CBO for 'true cost' of $3.5 trillion spending bill

The true total of the bill has yet to be calculated, the senators said.

Updated: October 3, 2021 - 2:49pm

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Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Friday requesting a "formal cost estimate" of the Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending bill.

While the Democrats have said the budget reconciliation bill is estimated to cost $3.5 trillion, McConnell and Graham noted that the actual amount has not yet been reported.

"Given the Majority's intent to completely ignore Senate committees, and the limited debate and consideration for the measure before it comes to the Senate floor, it is critical that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide Senators and the public with information related to the fiscal consequences of the reckless changes being proposed," McConnell and Graham wrote to CBO director Phillip Swagel, in a letter obtained by Fox News.

"We are concerned that the bill is currently being drafted behind closed doors in order to avoid making estimates available," the letter continued.

The senators asked the CBO to report on a dozen requests they listed, adding that "only four of the thirteen House authorizing committees' reported reconciliation recommendations have received written cost estimates."

"How long would it take CBO to produce a formal cost estimate with detailed analysis of the direct spending and revenue effects of each section, a description of mandates (as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act) imposed and related costs by the legislative proposal, and detailed information on federal costs subject to future appropriations?" McConnell and Graham asked in the letter.

"Democrats have said their Reckless Tax and Spend plan costs $0 – but that is false. The American people deserve to know the true cost of this multi-trillion dollar bill," a Senate Budge Committee Republicans spokesperson told Fox News.

The Biden administration has claimed that the bill will not add to the national debt.

President Biden tweeted that the bill "costs zero dollars."