Is the Build Back Better Act expected to increase the national deficit?

Monday, December 13, 2021
By Jacob Alabab-Moser

The Build Back Better Act is expected to increase the national deficit in the short term before beginning to decrease it in 2027. 

The Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate shows a total increase of $367 billion in the deficit as a result of the legislation. Annually, the legislation will cause net increases in the deficit between 2022 and 2027, after which it will cause net decreases until 2031. The estimate also finds that the legislation will result in decreases in deficits after 2031.

Following a request by Republican members of Congress, the CBO projected deficit increases of $3 trillion between 2022 and 2031 from the Build Back Better Act for a modified scenario in which various policies in the legislation would be permanent rather than temporary. However, President Biden and Democratic members of Congress have said that any extensions of the programs would be offset by other changes.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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