Brian Deese, director of the White House Economic Council, ridiculed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's contention on Newsmax that the spending that took place during the Trump administration was paid for, while the Democrats' spending call for up to $5.5 trillion, will not be funded.
"It makes you laugh," Deese told CNN's "New Day" on Friday. "Look, we expected debate, but let's try to debate on the facts. During the last administration, the signature economic initiative was a completely unpaid-for tax cut, most of which went to the most well-off. That tax cut cost at least $2 trillion to the economy, and it was not demonstrated to have any real manifest benefit to the economy."
McCarthy told Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." Thursday night, Republicans "paid for everything the Trump administration spent, plus seven months into this administration, in August. Now, this new Congress wants to spend more than $5.5 trillion which will only make inflation grow faster, but in that money they want to spend, they don't want to pay for the debt ceiling. This is not going to make America stronger. It is going to make us weaker."
Deese claimed, though, during the four years of Trump's presidency, the initiatives that were "unpaid" ended up adding up to $8 trillion.
"During that period, there was really not even an effort made to offset those costs with either revenue increases or spending reductions," Deese said. "That's what we inherited."
President Joe Biden, however, "has identified how he would fully offset those costs over the long-term," said Deese, adding the $3.5 trillion spending bill the administration is seeking will "end up with a zero net cost. It could actually reduce long-term deficits, and it is going to make family's lives a lot easier, lowering their costs, lowering inflationary pressures, and building the productive capacity of our country."
Meanwhile, Biden met with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has said he will not vote for the $3.5 trillion plan. According to Axios, he did not convince the senator to change his mind, even though the fate of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill could be in danger if the large budget reconciliation package is not passed.
"Nothing is ever done until it's done," Deese told CNN, adding, the White House is confident the bill will move forward.
Without Manchin's vote, though, the measure will not get the 50 votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaker it needs for Senate passage.
Deese said the bill "unifies our party," gets Americans to invest in the country, and makes "long-overdue changes" that will help build the economy and restore fairness to the tax code.
And all those things, "we've got broad agreement on" among Democrats, Deese said.
He insisted the conversations between Biden and Manchin must be kept private, but still, "there's a lot more that unifies us than divides us. That's what, at the end of the day, we're going to use to try to bring people together and get this done."
Deese also insisted Biden's tax plans, in some cases, are not an increase, but include going after the $160 billion a year that is avoided and evaded by the top 1% and "making sure that those people are actually paying the taxes that they owe."
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