June 12, 2024
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  • Chairman Arrington & Oversight Task Force Chair Bergman Request CBO to Analyze Full Cost of President Biden’s Executive Actions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Oversight Task Force Chair Jack Bergman (R-MI) sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), requesting a fulsome cost estimate for the 138 executive actions and agency rules unilaterally issued by the Biden Administration.

    Read the full letter HERE.

    Background: The Problem:

    According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) executive orders “are used extensively by Presidents to achieve policy goals, set uniform standards for managing the executive branch, or to outline a policy view intended to influence the behavior of private citizens. While the U.S. Constitution does not [explicitly] define the presidential authority to issue executive orders, they are an inherent aspect of presidential power. If they are issued on the appropriate authority, they have the force and effect of law.”

    The first executive order was issued by President George Washington in June 1789. Since then, nearly 14,000 executive orders have been issued by U.S. presidents.

    In recent years, both sides of the political spectrum have issued executive actions—oftentimes implemented with a considerable cost to taxpayers—to advance partisan priorities without input and oversight from Congress as statutorily required by the U.S. Constitution.

    The Biden Administration has issued 138 executive actions over the past three years and five months, costing more than $2 trillion U.S. dollars.

    The costliest of President Biden’s executive actions includes:

    • Total Cost of Student Loan Forgiveness, more than $1 trillion
    • Thrifty Food Plan Overhaul, $300 billion
    • Net Interest Payments on Spending for Executive Actions, $300 billion
    • Green Energy Rulemaking, $224 billion
    • Medicaid Eligibility Rule, more than $200 billion

    House Budget Committee's Request:

    As highlighted in the letter, “While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) already incorporates the fiscal impact of executive actions into its economic projections, it does not provide a separate, clear accounting of these costs to taxpayers.”

    In June 2022, CBO responded to House Budget’s request to provide a budgetary analysis of several executive actions taken by President Biden, displaying that the President’s actions totaled $532 billion.

    Two years, and trillions of dollars in unilateral spending later, Chairman Arrington and Oversight Task Force Chair Bergman are requesting that the CBO provide:

    • Cost estimates for ten executive actions issued by the Biden Administration since November 2022; and,
    • Updated cost estimates for seven Biden executive actions highlighted in Budget Committee’s June 2022 letter.

    A full list of the Biden Administration’s executive actions and associated spending can be found in the letter, HERE.

    The Bottom Line:

    A key step in restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington is ensuring that lawmakers and the American public possess the necessary information on how and where taxpayer dollars are being spent.

    Chairman Arrington and Rep. Bergman’s request to Congress’s scorekeepers will provide a fulsome and accurate account of the Biden Administration’s unprecedented spending habits.