McConnell and Graham ask CBO for 'true cost' of Biden spending plan

Republicans want a formal cost estimate of the multi-trillion-dollar proposal

EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Budget Committee ranking member Lindsey Graham asked the Congressional Budget Office on Friday to provide the American people with the "true cost" of the multi-trillion-dollar spending package being pushed by Democrats.

While Democrats have pushed for a massive reconciliation package presented with an estimated $3.5 trillion price tag, McConnell and Graham say the true cost has not yet been figured, and want to see the real numbers presented.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does a cable news interview before the start of a two-week recess, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Earlier, President Joe Biden announced a bipartisan agreement on a pared-down infrastructure plan that would make a start on his top legislative priority and validate his efforts to reach across the political aisle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Images)


"Given the Majority's intent to completely ignore Senate committees, and the limited debate and consideration for the measure before it comes to the Senate floor, it is critical that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide Senators and the public with information related to the fiscal consequences of the reckless changes being proposed," McConnell and Graham wrote in a letter to CBO director Phillip Swagel, obtained by Fox News.

The senators added, "We are concerned that the bill is currently being drafted behind closed doors in order to avoid making estimates available."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Washington. Graham said Thursday that the president must accept his own role in the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol. (AP P

McConnell and Graham then made a list of a dozen requests for the CBO to report, noting that "only four of the thirteen House authorizing committees' reported reconciliation recommendations have received written cost estimates."

The senators went on to ask, "How long would it take CBO to produce a formal cost estimate with detailed analysis of the direct spending and revenue effects of each section, a description of mandates (as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act) imposed and related costs by the legislative proposal, and detailed information on federal costs subject to future appropriations?"

"Democrats have said their Reckless Tax and Spend plan costs $0 – but that is false," a spokesperson for Senate Budge Committee Republicans told Fox News. "The American people deserve to know the true cost of this multi-trillion dollar bill."

The Biden administration and congressional progressives have indeed touted the legislation as being of no cost.

President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Newsroom)


"We talk about price tags. It is zero price tag on the debt," President Joe Biden told reporters of his spending agenda last week. "We’re paying — we’re going to pay for everything we spend."

The president's Twitter account declared the next day, "My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars," and "it adds zero dollars to the national debt."