Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

CBO Scores the Build Back Better Act

Nov 18, 2021 | Budgets & Projections

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released cost estimates for every title of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Without interactions, the agency finds the Build Back Better Act would add nearly $160 billion to the deficit over ten years, including nearly $750 billion over five years.

Importantly, these estimates do not include potential interactions between committees, but they do include "non-scoreable" savings from IRS tax enforcement. CBO's figures are consistent but slightly lower than our recent estimate that the full legislation includes roughly $2.4 trillion of new spending and tax breaks through 2031 along with $2.2 trillion of offsets.

CBO's Estimate of the Build Back Better Act By Title

Title Budget Authority Deficit Impact
Title I (Agriculture)  $82 billion $77 billion 
Title II (Education & Labor)  $455 billion $454 billion 
Title III (Energy & Commerce)  $299 billion $281 billion
Title IV (Financial Services)  $156 billion $151 billion 
Title V (Homeland Security)  $2 billion $1 billion 
Title VI (Judiciary) $116 billion $115 billion
Title VII (Natural Resources)  $17 billion $16 billion
Title VIII (Oversight & Reform)  $14 billion $14 billion 
Title IX (Science, Space, & Technology)  $9 billion $9 billion 
Title X (Small Business)  $5 billion $5 billion 
Title XI (Transportation & Infrastructure)  $39 billion $36 billion 
Title XII (Veterans Affairs)  $5 billion  $5 billion 
Title XIII (Ways & Means) -$997 billion -$1,005 billion
Total $202 billion $160 billion

Sources: Congressional Budget Office, Joint Committee on Taxation, and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Numbers may not sum due to rounding.
Note: The estimate for the Ways and Means title includes $207 billion in non-scoreable revenue from IRS enforcement provisions aimed at reducing the tax gap.

The table above includes CBO's published scores for Title I (Agriculture), Title II (Education and Labor), Title III (Energy and Commerce) Title IV (Financial Services)Title V (Homeland Security), Title VI (Judiciary), Title VII (Natural Resources)Title VIII (Oversight and Reform)Title IX (Science, Space, and Technology)Title X (Small Business)Title XI (Transportation and Infrastructure), Title XII (Veterans Affairs), and Title XIII (Ways and Means). Together, these scores amount to roughly $202 billion each of budget authority and $159 billion added to deficits over the next decade.

We will continue to provide timely, in-depth analyses as CBO continues releasing scores for the Build Back Better Act. 

This analysis was last updated on 11/18/21 at 5:30 p.m.

Read more options and analyses on our Reconciliation Resources page.