Democrats expect CBO to show shortfall on Biden’s bill as White House moves to


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But behind the scenes, they have been launching a preemptive strike for weeks to prepare their colleagues for that likelihood, arguing that the CBO numbers would diverge from the White House’s projections that $320 billion would be raised by increased tax enforcement, a difference the administration says stems from the different methods used to calculate the revenue gained.
The question now facing Democratic leaders is whether those assurances from the White House will be enough to assuage moderates, who have withheld their support for the roughly $1.9 trillion bill until information from the CBO show its costs are offset.
“I am undecided on the bill,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a vulnerable Democrat from a swing district in Michigan. “I remain undecided on the bill. I want to see these scores, and I want to make sure I understand the details before I cast a vote.”

Democratic leaders have very little margin for error, since they can only lose three votes to pass the bill that they are hoping gets a final vote as soon as Thursday.

“We want to have the confidence that what we fiscally have said is the reality in the bill is the reality,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

The White House has spent months explaining and preparing members for why their estimates may not line up with the CBO on increased IRS tax enforcement. But aides say that knowing the estimates and then seeing CBO’s report could cause some members to react differently.

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Two House moderates, who have withheld their support for the $1.9 trillion bill until the CBO scores are released, told CNN on Tuesday that the shortfall on the IRS provision won’t affect their view on whether to support the plan.

“I think it is OK,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Blue Dog Democrat from Oregon, calling it a “legitimate difference of opinion.” “That would not dissuade me.”

Added Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida: “I think we for a long time have understood that there is a discrepancy between Treasury’s analysis of the revenues that come from tax enforcement and what CBO’s number is. We knew that based off of our negotiations during the infrastructure bill, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.”

Another Democrat said if any moderates defect now, it’s because they want to scuttle the whole effort.

“That this wouldn’t line up with CBO isn’t a surprise,” one House Democrat who has worked on the revenue side of the proposal told CNN. “If this is a deal breaker for any members, it’s because they want it to be a deal breaker, not because they weren’t aware of it beforehand.”

Administration officials hope that their argument made to lawmakers — that their estimates over the IRS enforcement provisions wouldn’t line up with those of the due to differences in methodological approaches — will carry weight with Democrats.

“If we’re telling you that we’re paying for something over a 10-year period, are we giving you that service for 10 years?” Sen. Joe Manchin, the key West Virginia moderate, said…

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