Tags: Coronavirus | Financial Markets | Money | Trump Administration | congressional | budget | office

CBO Says CARES Act Will Cost Less Than $2.2T Projected

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By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2020 06:00 PM

The CARES coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress will end up costing taxpayers $1.8 trillion — a little under the $2.2 trillion projected by the White House, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded.

The CBO explained the difference is due to scorekeeping on $454 billion provided to back trillions of dollars in guaranteed loans by a Federal Reserve emergency lending facility, which will not have a deficit impact since the income and costs stemming from that lending are expected to offset each other.

But that might not be the final word.

"Actual costs could vary significantly from CBO's preliminary estimates," the CBO noted, pointing out the total cost will depend on how provisions are implemented and the economic effect the pandemic will have on the country.

Even before the pandemic, the deficit for the year was projected to exceed $1 trillion, and that figure is expected to rise as a result of the economic downturn, The Hill reported.

Paired with the unprecedented rescue package and health funding, the earlier deficit figure could nearly quadruple, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group, The Hill reported.

The CBO report comes as Washington is manuevering over replenishing a popular "paycheck protection" program with another $250 billion.

The recently passed measure contains $377 billion for the paycheck subsidy program, $293 billion for $1,200 direct payments to most Americans, $150 billion for state and local governments, and $268 billion for more generous unemployment benefits, among other costs.

The CARES legislation is by far the largest of three coronavirus relief bills passed this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The CARES coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress will cost a little under the $2.2 trillion projected by the White House, $1.8 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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Thursday, 16 April 2020 06:00 PM
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