These five Democrats are key to whether Pelosi can pass Biden's massive spending plan before Thanksgiving
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Five moderate Democrats are going to be key to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's effort to push through President Biden's massive reconciliation spending plan before Thanksgiving.
Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Ed Case, D-Hawaii, Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., all refused to vote for the bill earlier this month when progressives and Pelosi wanted to advance it along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill. They cited a lack of data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on how much the bill would actually cost.
But in exchange for progressive votes to pass infrastructure, the five moderates promised to vote for the reconciliation bill if the forthcoming CBO data is consistent with what the White House estimates the bill will cost.
"We commit to voting for the Build Back Better act, in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office — but in no event later than the week of November 15th — consistent with the toplines for revenues and investments" that the White House released earlier this month, the members of Congress said in a statement.
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That data is expected to come Friday, setting up a possible vote to pass the bill Saturday.
The key will be whether the CBO estimates are indeed consistent with the White House's numbers – and whether the lawmakers believe the numbers on paper will reflect what the government ends up spending in reality.
There is some doubt on both of those points.
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) senior vice president Marc Goldwein told FOX Business Monday the CBO numbers might say the bill will raise significantly less money than the White House estimated.
"I think the CBO numbers will be pretty similar to the White House, except for on IRS funding. Where the White House says $400 billion and I think CBO maybe will say 150," Goldwein said. "We are at 125 because we don't have a basis what will happen with some weird timing things, I could see it being a bit higher than that, but it's not going to be 400."