‘Gimmicks’ in reconciliation bill cover up over $1T in spending, US Chamber of Commerce says

Reconciliation bill has sunset provisions that 'disguise the true cost of the bill,' chamber wrote

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the authors of the Democrat-backed reconciliation bill of using "gimmicks to cover up well over $1 trillion in spending," and called on Congress to identify the bill’s actual "real-world impact."

The business group published a letter it sent to politicians in D.C. on Wednesday demanding that they consider the cost of the legislation, its inflationary impact and how the policies will impact future workforce participation.

President Biden is expected to sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday during a ceremony at the White House. The bill provides funding for physical infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, water pipes and broadband internet. Democrats are now zeroing in on the president's even bigger $1.75 trillion package aimed at expanding health, child, elder care and climate change programs.

Congress hasn’t been this narrowly split in 20 years, with a Democratic margin of just a few seats in the House and the current 50-50 split Senate.

According to the chamber, the reconciliation bill has sunset provisions that "disguise the true cost of the bill." These provisions essentially expire after a certain amount of time, but then could be extended. So the amount looks smaller than the actual total cost. 

The New York Times reported that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVa., called these provisions "shell games" and the actual cost of the reconciliation bill could be double the amount being discussed.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced Tuesday that there is currently no set timeline for when they will have a score for the Build Back Better Act, the social spending bill Democrats are trying to pass.


The CBO provides "scores" for legislation that estimate how bills would impact the budget by looking at factors such as spending, revenue and deficits. Given the sheer length of the social spending bill, the agency said they are working on a score, but it will take time.


"Over the past several months, we have provided technical assistance to committees as they developed their proposals for various parts of the bill," CBO Director Phillip Swagel stated on the agency's website. "The analysis of the bill’s many provisions is complicated, and CBO will provide a cost estimate for the entire bill as soon as practicable."

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.