Flashback: Pelosi criticized GOP for not getting CBO score before passing bills


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is pushing for a vote on President Biden’s massive spending plan as soon as possible, even though she has previously pushed back against GOP efforts to ram through legislation without a Congressional Budget Office score, an analysis moderate Democrats are now demanding. 

“Americans have a right to know #Trumpcare’s impact on their lives. Rs shouldn’t vote without an updated CBO score,” Pelosi said on Twitter in March 2017 as the GOP was attempting to swiftly pass former President Trump’s reforms to the Affordable Care Act.

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“REMINDER: Huge changes are being made to #Trumpcare as @PRyan tries to jam this bill through without an updated CBO score of its impacts,” Pelosi Tweeted two months later, signaling her firm commitment to getting a score before a vote could be held on Trump’s legislation.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

But some moderate Democrats have pushed back against the idea of rushing to vote on a social spending plan before the CBO has a chance to score the bill.

“We cannot lend our support to advancing the [Build Back Better] Act until we have had a chance to review these scores, which provide the true cost of the legislation,” five House moderates wrote in a letter to Pelosi Tuesday.

Other Democrats have publicly spoken out against advancing the legislation without a CBO score, a division that could cause even more delays to legislation that was already being advanced slowly in the deeply divided party.

 

“I think a CBO score is important,” Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., said Monday.

“I think it’s really important on a package this size for us to have a CBO score before we take a vote,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said last month. “We have, because of COVID, already spent about $6 trillion roughly, and we need to approach this in a fiscally responsible manner. And the only way to do that is to know how much this package costs.”

Pelosi at one time seemingly agreed with the more recent concerns of her colleagues during debate over Trump’s health care legislation, stressing in May 2017 that Republicans should have waited for a CBO score before moving forward.

“The GOP just rushed to kick millions off of their health care before we have a CBO score to know the cost. #Trumpcare,” Pelosi Tweeted on May 4, 2017.

On Thursday, Pelosi refused to reveal any information about when Democrats might be able to hold a vote on both the spending bill and the infrastructure legislation that has already been passed by the Senate.

“I’ll let you know as soon as I wish to,” Pelosi told a reporter who asked when a vote might take place. “You’re just worried about your own schedule.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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But Pelosi did say that the CBO has been receiving pieces of the legislation, perhaps trying to alleviate fears that moderate Democrats would refuse to support the package.

“We have been all along … we’ve been sending things to CBO. This is not new to them,” Pelosi said. “The CBO also has been … They have most of the information now — they have new information — but they have to correlate it.”



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