Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., expressed doubt Tuesday that President Biden’s social spending bill would pass the House as planned during the week of Nov. 15 after the Congressional Budget Office provided a vague release schedule for its full cost estimate of the mammoth legislation.
Earlier Tuesday, the CBO warned its "complicated" analysis of the full spending bill would be released "as soon as practicable." The office noted that it would release estimates for individual portions of the bill beginning this week, while other estimates would "take longer."
"When we determine a release date for the cost estimate for the entire bill, we will provide advance notice," the CBO said.
The CBO score is key to an agreement between two wings of the Democratic Party. The Congressional Progressive Caucus agreed to vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill only after a group of moderate lawmakers pledged to pass the spending bill as it is currently written no later than the week of Nov. 15, contingent on the release of the CBO’s analysis.
Omar was one of six House Democrats, all members of the progressive "Squad," who voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The lawmakers have argued progressives made a mistake by allowing the infrastructure bill to pass after demanding for weeks that both bills be brought up for a vote at the same time.
"Build Back Better act is not gonna happen next week and everyone should have seen that coming when we decoupled the bills," Omar wrote on Twitter.
Omar and others say moderates, some of whom have expressed concern about the spending bill’s price tag, will push for a watered-down version or to drop the legislation entirely following the infrastructure bill’s passage.
Earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, another "Squad" member, told constituents she voted "no" because she feared the spending bill will be gutted once progressives surrendered their "leverage" on the infrastructure bill vote.