President Joe Biden repeated the claim that his multi-trillion-dollar agenda in fact costs $0 yet again at CNN’s town hall on Thursday.
Numerous high-level Democrats, including Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have claimed that Biden’s American Jobs Plan will cost nothing. In reality, the price tag on the infrastructure bill and the budget reconciliation plan would cost more than $4 trillion. Biden repeated the claim to CNN host Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, describing the various programs in his agenda.
“By the way, all of it is paid for,” Biden said of the spending plan. “Every single penny. It’s not gonna raise [the debt] one single cent.”
The Biden administration claims the pay-fors included in the agenda counterbalance every dollar of spending, but watchdog organizations have disagreed. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that Biden’s agenda will require the U.S. to borrow roughly $2.4 trillion, while the tax hikes included in the bill would only cover $1.1 trillion. (RELATED: Biden Defends His Administration’s Record Amid Low Approval Numbers, Multiple Crises)
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to release its report on what the agenda will cost long-term, however.
Biden first made the claim that his agenda is essentially free in late September, leading to heavy backlash from Republicans.
My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.
Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America.
And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 26, 2021
Republican members of Congress immediately began to pile onto the tweet, calling it “completely false,” and saying the president is “confused.”
This is completely false. The largest spending spree in government history will cost “zero dollars”? That defies logic and basic math. Alongside massive tax increases, it will add trillions to the debt. Peddling false narratives won’t change those facts. https://t.co/vrnxF58LX9
— Rep. Steve Womack (@rep_stevewomack) September 26, 2021
Biden thinks his $3.5 trillion reckless spending plan “costs zero dollars”?
He is very confused. https://t.co/aNUyBnq5Up
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 26, 2021
It remains to be seen how Biden’s claim will fare under the CBO’s scrutiny. The organization did release a dire prediction that the U.S. will double its debt to nearly $60 trillion over the next 30 years, if budget deficits continue. It has stated that Biden’s smaller, bipartisan infrastructure bill will add $250 billion to the debt, but has yet to speak out on the larger, Democrat-only $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.