/  Ranking Member Cole Remarks on Reconciliation Bill Monstrosity

Ranking Member Cole Remarks on Reconciliation Bill Monstrosity

As delivered this evening during a meeting on a manager's amendment to H.R. 5376:

This is now the fourth time this committee is meeting on the majority’s monstrosity of a reconciliation bill. I hope that this is not becoming the new normal around here – meeting before you’re ready and rewriting bills multiple times at the Rules Committee. 

Two weeks ago, I noted that this bill should be called the "Bad Bad Bad Bill," and I stand by that characterization. It’s a wish list of radical policy provisions and reckless spending that would lead to massive tax increases, trillions added to the national debt and more and more government control of our lives. What’s worse, it’s been cobbled together in the backrooms of the Speaker’s office rather than going through the regular legislative process.

To make matters even worse, we have just received a bill score from the Congressional Budget Office, but no one has yet had time to fully review it. We may have that score in hand, but I don't think any member has had time to consider it yet. Why aren't we giving ourselves the chance to review the critical information as the Senate will do?

I suspect the reason you are moving so quickly is what we all know to be true but that none of my friends in the majority will admit: this CBO score did not turn out well for this legislation. Contrary to President Biden’s repeated claim that this bill will cost zero dollars, it will actually cost trillions. Not only does the CBO score show that almost $400 billion is unpaid for over the next 10 years, but the Judiciary title alone adds another $400 billion over the following 10. And on top of that, if you make every program here permanent, which I know my friends want to do, then the actual cost will be a minimum of $4 trillion, with about $1.5 trillion dollars in revenue. 

It would be an outrageously unbalanced bill, one that would actually cost taxpayers well over $2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, and that is after the gigantic tax increases on the middle class coupled with windfalls for the wealthiest that this bill contemplates. In fact, the second biggest program in this bill gives billions to the rich. 

Mr. Chairman, this entire process has been ludicrous and frankly a sham. Four different meetings on this bill. Multiple manager’s amendments, each drafted in the back rooms of leadership offices. Pushing ahead without taking time to digest the CBO score. All to rush ahead to push through a bloated, unbalanced spending package that you know the Senate will change.  

The House can do better than this, Mr. Chairman. I think we should do better than this.

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Created: November 18, 2021