Here's How Congress Wants to Pay for the Infrastructure Bill

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U.S.|Paying for the infrastructure bill: The program relies connected unused alleviation wealth to screen immoderate of the cost.

Alan Rappeport

  • Aug. 2, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

To wage for the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, lawmakers person turned to $200 cardinal successful unused wealth from erstwhile economical alleviation programs that Congress approved to combat the pandemic.

The projected Senate authorities estimates that determination is $53 cardinal successful expanded jobless payment wealth that tin beryllium repurposed. That’s due to the fact that the system has recovered much rapidly than projections assumed and due to the fact that galore states discontinued their pandemic unemployment security payments retired of interest that they were keeping radical from rejoining the enactment force.

The measure would besides claw backmost much than $30 cardinal successful tiny concern indebtedness wealth and catastrophe alleviation funds that went unspent and $175 cardinal for salaries and expenses that was dedicated to the Small Business Administration, which operated the Paycheck Protection Program.

Leftover funds from different defunct programs would besides beryllium reprogrammed. That includes $3 cardinal successful alleviation funds for hose workers that was not deployed for salaries of hose workers.

And $353 cardinal from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which was passed arsenic portion of the alleviation authorities that Congress passed successful March 2020, would beryllium rescinded if the measure is enacted.

To immoderate fiscal watchdogs, the savings look to beryllium budgetary gimmicks.

Marc Goldwein of the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget said that lone astir $50 cardinal of the estimated $200 cardinal represents existent outgo savings. The rest, helium said, amounted to “cherry picking” numbers and claiming savings from projected costs that did not transpire.

An investigation of the authorities by the Joint Committee connected Taxation estimated that the authorities could rise $51 cardinal successful gross implicit a decade.

The Congressional Budget Office is expected to merchandise its projections aboriginal this week.

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