Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus (moderates), on Sunday maintained that he still wants to see an official cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before committing to support the Build Back Better package, days after the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Appearing on CNN, Gottheimer was asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) tweet saying that moderates must keep their promise of committing to voting for BBB no later than the week of November 15.
Shortly before Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) announced a deal with moderates to hold a vote on both the bipartisan infrastructure package, as well as a procedural step for the BBB on Friday night, Gottheimer and four other moderate Democrats said in a statement that they “commit” to voting for the BBB “in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously” as they receive final data from the CBO “in no event later than the week of November 15th.” The group also said that they would work to “resolve any discrepancies” if the CBO score doesn’t match up with the White House’s analysis of the bill.
Pressed on whether the House will pass BBB the week of Nov. 15, Gottheimer replied that moderates believe that they will receive information from the CBO that week, which he expects would include data showing that the bill is “paid for and does the responsible thing fiscally.”
Gottheimer said that Democrats plan to move forward with BBB because he expects it to meet moderates’ expectations, before reiterating the need for assurance that the bill is “fiscally responsible and paid for.”
CNN anchor Dana Bash then asked Gottheimer to clarify whether he would not support BBB if the CBO score is inconsistent with the White House’s analysis that it’s fully paid for.
After saying that his caucus received data from the Treasury Department and the White House, Gottheimer said that he expects to receive more data from the CBO in the next 7-10 days.
“I think we all agree that the reconciliation package, the Build Back Better legislation, is critically important for our districts, districts like mine,” Gottheimer said. “So my expectation will be that we will be moving forward, and we will have another thing to celebrate action.”
Pressed again on whether he needs the CBO to say that BBB is paid for in order for him to support it, Gotttheimer replied that his caucus is still looking for CBO tables that will score sections of the bill.
“We expect the information we receive to be in line with what we received from the Treasury Department. And we will, at that point, I’m sure, be ready to move forward,” Gottheimer said. “But we just want to make sure we get that data and that we’re able to align it with what we have received ready.”
Watch Gottheimer’s remarks below: