Update: So How Much Does This Bill Cost Now?
The Senate released yet another version of the tax extenders and social safety net bill (The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 - H.R. 4213), decreasing the gross cost of the bill from $137 billion to $118 billion. CBO has yet to release an updated cost estimate of the bill, but press accounts report that the bill's overall deficit impact is likely between $50 and $60 billion.
As we have argued in previous blogs and a recent policy paper, we hope that lawmakers work to reduce the deficit impact of the bill -- without dropping or shortening measures that will just be deficit financed later and will just waste more lawmakers' time when these provisions come up again for debate.
|Version of Tax Extenders/Safety Net Bill (H.R.4213)|
|Provisions||Originally||5/27/2010||5/28/2010||Week of 6/1/2010||6/8/2010||6/16/2010
|Doc Fix||Patched through 2013||Patched through 2011||Patched through 2011||Congress on Recess||Patched through 2011||Patched through November 2010|
|Unemployment Benefits||Extended through 2010||Extended through November||Extended through November||Extended through November||
Extended through November (but eliminates extra $25/week enacted through the 2009 stimulus)
|COBRA Benefits||Extended through 2010||Extended through November||Dropped||Dropped||Dropped|
|Medicaid Matches to States||6 month extension||6 month extension||Dropped||6 month extension||6 month extension|
Over the past few days, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has softened provisions regarding taxation of carried interest and S corporations, has increased the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund tax from 41 to 49 cents per barrel (up from the current 8 cents) to offset some of the costs, and has also included a measure to extend the closing date for the homebuyer tax credit from July 1 to October 1. Senator Jim Thune (R-SD) has offered a Republican substitute to the bill that would slash the deficit by $68 billion over the coming decade. The substitute includes many of the same extensions, but achieves these savings through cutting $118 billion in unecessary spending and rescinding $38 billion from the 2009 stimulus.
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) raised a budget point of order yesterday that was upheld, stating that the bill exceeds the spending levels set forth in the latest budget resolution. Fifty-two senators voted to uphold the point of order, a small but important victory for fiscal responsibility.
CRFB continues to encourage members of Congress, like Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), who have expressed concerns over the overall deficit impact of the bill and who would like to see more offsets. Let's address these issues now instead of continuing to kick them down the road.