Infrastructure Bill Would Add $256 Billion to Deficit, Analysis Finds


At least one moderate Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, has said he has concerns about inflation; on Thursday, Mr. Manchin wrote a letter to Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, declaring, “It’s time to ensure we don’t overprescribe the patient by further stimulating an already strong recovery and therefore risk our ability to respond to future crises.”

Republicans have also declared that they will not support a move to raise the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department says technically was reached at the beginning of this month. The department is taking what it calls “extraordinary measures” to avoid breaching it, but that is projected to happen in October without action by Congress to raise it.

Some Republicans have hammered the infrastructure legislation for its budgetary gimmicks, arguing that they far outweigh the merits of the spending.

“If we weren’t going to provide real ‘pay-fors,’ then we should have just seen from them an admission from the outset: ‘We’re not going to pay for it,’ ” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, at a news conference on Wednesday. “Instead, they said it’s going to be paid for, and then they release it and say it is paid for — only there are some asterisks next to that.”

After the report was released, Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida and the chairman of his party’s Senate campaign committee, said that while he supported investing in infrastructure, he feared that the bill would fuel inflation.

“We cannot afford this reckless spending,” Mr. Scott said.

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The Congressional Budget Office projected in a separate report on Thursday that the federal budget deficit would hit $3 trillion this year and average $1.2 trillion per year through 2031.

The Biden administration has argued that because of low interest rates, the debt load is manageable.



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