Today, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (MO-08) and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (OK-03) slammed House Democrat leadership for their continued efforts to thwart transparency and pass legislation without the American people knowing its true cost. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Smith and Lucas cite the recent passage of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022 – a 3,000-page bill – that was brought before the House of Representatives for a vote without an official score or cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The lawmakers demanded that Democratic leadership allow CBO to actually score the bill before it is advanced any further.
This abuse of power came just three months after House Democrats passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, which also lacked a true cost estimate from CBO at the time of its passage in the House, but which CBO later determined would cost $5 trillion and add $3 trillion to the debt. In their letter, Smith and Lucas expose how Democrats have also waived the House PAYGO rule – a measure intended to hold in check new Washington spending – over 16 times in the last year.
“Elected officials in Congress should not hide the cost of their agenda. Unfortunately, over the past year, House Democrats have repeatedly sought to do just that. They passed a $5 trillion spending bill and repeatedly lied that it would cost ‘zero’ dollars – continuing to do so even after CBO, the official scorekeeper for Congress, confirmed the bill would, in fact, cost $5 trillion and add $3 trillion in new debt. For his part, President Biden has similarly spread false information about the cost of his agenda while encouraging Washington Democrats to hastily advance legislation like their $2 trillion bailout bill that sparked a spike in prices not seen in 40 years and that has done nothing to address supply chain disruptions, worker shortages, or sky-high gas prices. Instead of continuing to hide the cost and impact of their legislation, Democrats should own up to their failures and work to fix the crises their radical agenda has unleashed on the nation,” said House Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith.
“Instead of sticking to bipartisan policies to make smart investments in basic and early-stage research, the Speaker created a massive franken-bill filled with spending that has nothing to do with American competitiveness or addressing the threats we face from the Chinese Communist Party,” House Science Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas said. “When we stick to regular order, we can be sure all spending is well-vetted, accurately scored, and transparent. But Speaker Pelosi has once again chosen to legislate from the top-down, forcing through a massive bill and preventing Members of Congress from doing their due diligence on behalf of their constituents. America cannot afford this reckless approach to spending. Before Democrats move to conference this bill, we need a CBO score. It’s irresponsible to proceed without knowing the true costs of this legislation.”
“Transparency on a bill’s budgetary and economic impacts is especially pertinent with the out-of-control government spending we have seen under the Democrat majority. Since President Biden took office, House Democrats have passed more than $7.5 trillion of new spending, which has resulted in the inflation crisis Americans are currently facing. Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported inflation has increased 7.5 percent over the last year, the largest increase in forty years. Furthermore, under the policies of the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats, the national debt would increase by an additional $15 trillion over the next decade,” wrote Smith and Lucas in their letter to House Democratic leadership.
The full letter is available here.
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- Lucas on American Competitiveness Legislation: "There was no need to make this partisan."