New Build Back Better Framework Relies Too Heavily on Gimmicks

For Immediate Release

Today, the White House released an updated framework for its Build Back Better plan. The framework proposes $1.85 trillion of spending and tax breaks, along with $1.995 trillion of taxes and other offsetsaccording to the White House materials. However, much of the spending and many tax breaks are temporary and would require additional resources to make permanent.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

We’re very encouraged that the Administration would more than pay for its proposed spending and tax breaks. With debt headed toward record levels, we strongly support the President’s commitment to not further run up the national credit card.

Unfortunately, the framework relies heavily on the massive gimmick of arbitrary sunsets to make the numbers work. The increase in the Child Tax Credit amount and the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion last for only one year. Expansions of the Affordable Care Act will continue for only four years. And proposals to provide child care and pre-K will last for only six years.

Extending these policies could end up costing up to $2 trillion over the decade, or perhaps even more. To meet the President’s commitment that Build Back Better be fully offset, any extensions would need to be fully paid for as well. Unfortunately, such extensions have often been deficit-financed in the past.

As lawmakers work to turn this framework into legislation, they should swap out temporary proposals for permanent ones. They should scale back, target, and prioritize to ensure the plan remains fully paid for.

They should also avoid adding in new costly proposals or relying on more gimmicks while continuing to prioritize as negotiations continue. We are pleased to see that this framework does not include SALT cap repeal, which would increase costs by $90 billion a year and potentially result in a net tax cut for the highest earners, and that it does not rely on rosy promises of economic growth to pay for its initiatives. Neither of these belong in any final package, and we hope they stay out while lawmakers further prioritize permanent and targeted policies.

To truly Build Back Better, policymakers need to drop the gimmicks and games.


For more information, please contact Kim McIntyre, director of media relations, at