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Brian Deese, director of the White House‘s National Economic Council, insisted that the Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible and truly pays for itself over time, despite contrary claims from Obama administration experts.
Pushing back against arguments that the pay-fors in the bill do not cover long-term costs, Deese pointed to measures like the bill’s tax reform, which would impose a 15% minimum for large, highly profitable corporations.
“So when you look at the impact of those policies in the aggregate, it would reduce the deficit by about $112 billion in this decade,” Deese said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview. “In the second decade this bill would reduce the deficit by more than $2 trillion.”
Former Obama administration senior adviser Steve Rattner, however, has argued that the only way to claim that the bill is paid for is to use “budget gimmicks” like relying on sunset clauses for key benefits to assume that they will expire in the near future, when in reality they are likely to be renewed. Rattner also cited the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which said the bill will add at least $800 billion to the deficit over the next five years.
Deese argued that renewal of benefits would be decided by a future Congress, and that it was not fair to base an assessment of the bill on what they might do.
Later in the program, Deese dodged a question regarding China and whether Biden lift Trump-era tariffs.
“We are engaging with our Chinese counterparts but with a clear understanding that we’re representing American interests and we’re going to take the actions that we need to protect those American interests,” he said. “But that cuts across not only tariff policy but procurement, commitments that the Chinese government has made,” and other issues like Chinese intellectual property theft.
Deese also slammed former President Donald Trump’s Phase One agreement, claiming that “did not adequately protect a number of American economic interests” while China has not held up their end of the agreement.