Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

‘Gang of Eight’ Touts CBO Score on Immigration Bill (Updated)

immigration 118 041813 445x296 Gang of Eight Touts CBO Score on Immigration Bill (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:48 p.m. | Members of the Senate’s “gang of eight” were quick to praise the Congressional Budget Office’s review of the immigration bill now pending on the floor.

The CBO, in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Taxation, found that the Senate bill would slash the federal deficit by $197 billion over the next decade, according to a formal cost estimate. In an unusual move, the CBO projected the bill would reduce the deficit in the following decade by about another $700 billion.

“The CBO has further confirmed what most conservative economists have found: reforming our immigration system is a net benefit for our economy, American workers and taxpayers. There remain some key areas that need to be tightened up to prevent those who have violated our immigration laws from accessing federal benefit programs,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement.

“But overall, the CBO report offers encouraging evidence that the status quo is unacceptable and we can end it without burdening our already burdened taxpayers and, in fact, reduce the deficit over the next 20 years,” he continued.

Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, another member of the gang of eight, was even more upbeat in his own statement.

“This report is a huge momentum boost for immigration reform. This debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy, and robs the bill’s opponents of one of their last remaining arguments,” Schumer said. “Immigration reform is not only the right thing to do to stay true to our nation’s principles, it will also boost our economy, reduce the deficit and create jobs.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also noted budget savings in the out years due to the Senate bill.

“Today, we have more proof that bipartisan commonsense immigration reform will be good for economic growth and deficit reduction: this time, in the form of a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimate,” Carney said.

The CBO’s findings weren’t entirely positive in the short-term, however. The office does project a wage decline in the first years with the new population of legal workers. The decline would eventually be reversed, the CBO says.

“CBO’s central estimates also show that average wages for the entire labor force would be 0.1 percent lower in 2023 and 0.5 percent higher in 2033 under the legislation than under current law,” the CBO said. “Average wages would be slightly lower than under current law through 2024, primarily because the amount of capital available to workers would not increase as rapidly as the number of workers and because the new workers would be less skilled and have lower wages, on average, than the labor force under current law.

“The estimated reductions in average wages and per capita GNP for much of the next two decades do not necessarily imply that current U.S. residents would be worse off, on average, under the legislation than they would be under current law,” the CBO added in an economic impact analysis.

Update: Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, the Senate’s most vocal critic of the gang of eight bill, slammed the CBO score for not taking into account a variety of other factors, including the education level of immigrants.

“CBO did not provide enough information to assess the assumptions it made about the educational background of illegal immigrants and thus their methodology may be substantially flawed. An accurate analysis would acknowledge that half of that population does not have high school degrees, and is therefore more likely to receive far more in government support than they will pay in the form of taxes,” Sessions said in a statement. “For every dollar a low-income illegal immigrant might pay in either taxes or payroll contributions, he or she could easily receive two dollars back from the government in the form of public assistance for their household.”

  • disqus_ALZzDtjqSI

    Why not state what the CBO report also stated. The reform bill will only stop 25% of illegal immigration. So I guess this “enforcement bill” is not really a enforcement bill after all…who would of thought?

  • disqus_c197zi57ib

    Close to 50% of Americans do not pay any income tax, yet the CBO tells us that naturalizing illegal immigrants who are currently living on or below poverty level will somehow result in them paying $459 billion in income and payroll taxes over the next 10 years? Whom are they kidding? Add to that the welfare, food stamps, section 8 HUD housing, medicare they collect it makes your head spin. And on top of that they gutted the border protection from the bill. Total insanity!

    • rastaman44

      Just because you spout a lot of garbage as if it is fact does not make it fact in the real world, teabagging buffoon!!!

      • disqus_ALZzDtjqSI

        Did you read the bill? These are more facts directly from the bill:

        One portion of the Senate bill would loosen the rules for seeking
        asylum. Sec. 3401 removes the one-year deadline for applying for asylum;Sec. 3504 adds another layer of appeals for aliens turned down; and Sec. 3502 allows the U.S. attorney general to provide government-funded legal counsel to aliens, something current law bars.

        So the government is going to provide legal services?

        And this:

        In a television ad, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says that immigrants with provisional status will “have to be able to support themselves so they will never become a public charge.” But the bill waives that requirement for anyone who is attending high school, getting a high school equivalency degree, attending college, in job training, taking care of a
        child, over 60, or unemployed through no fault of their own. That covers everyone. To stay in the U.S. and qualify for a green card, you
        need to be working except if you’re not. See Sec. 245C(b).

        And This:

        Sec. 2524 establishes the Task Force on New Americans, which would be comprised of top executive branch personnel and charged with ensuring that federal programs “adequately address” the healthcare, education, and job-training needs of new immigrants and developing legislative
        proposals. Will the president push for additional legislation to
        increase benefits for immigrants?

        And this:

        Sec. 2531 of the immigration bill sets up a nonprofit United States Citizenship Foundation to “engage in coordinated work” with the federal government. It will be run by 10 directors drawn from national community organizations, and will develop “citizenship preparation” programs to teach newcomers about American history and civics. That job is currently
        done by the federal Office of Immigration, which produces high-quality nonpartisan materials and is subject to public scrutiny. Outsourcing these functions would permit community activists to rewrite America’s past and principles with a partisan slant.

        And this:

        Sec. 2106 of the immigration bill outsources the job of guiding aliens through amnesty from the Department of Homeland Security to community
        organizations. These organizations will get federal grants to screen aliens for eligibility, assist them in documenting their residence, tax status, employment, and tax history, coordinate applications for family members, and apply for waivers where needed. Outsourcing these functions risks allowing them to be politicized. Community activists can say and do things government employees can’t. On a smaller scale, outsourcing
        has been going on since 2009. One past recipient is the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, which claims to “build
        political power through citizenship drives and voter registration.”

        These are facts, not garbage. Citizens need to read this bill.

        • rastaman44

          Again, I repeat, GARBAGE. The only person or persons who have a problem with the sections in the bill you cited are white right wing racist freaks who seem to think that outsourcing educational functions re immigration to legally organised community groups willlead to a black/brown communist takeover of America. LOL
          Keep drinking the koolaid. dipchit!!!

          • disqus_ALZzDtjqSI

            Yeah…all about educational functions. READ the ENTIRE BILL. This has nothing to do with color. But of course, anyone that is against this bill is a racist. Lets see in 10 years if you still have a job or extra money in your pocket. Feel free to use your money to pay for this bill and more of your money going to support more people on welfare. Outsourcing to certain groups will lead to more fraud and ways around the laws. You are not even worth any more of my time to debate since you result to name calling to my post and another reader’s post.

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