May 09, 2024
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  • Chairman Arrington Seeks Full Analysis from CBO on Mass Illegal Migration Costs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) sent a letter to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Phillip Swagel requesting a complete and fair analysis of the budgetary effects of the border crisis. This letter follows a House Budget Committee hearing entitled “The Cost of the Border Crisis,” where members delved into the fiscal ramifications of President Biden’s open border policies. 

    The letter expresses House Budget Committee Republicans’ concern over CBO’s failure to include the economic costs of mass illegal migration.

    CBO’s baseline report included the economic and revenue contributions from mass illegal migration. However, it notably omits the direct spending effects on federal programs and other costs the federal government incurs which, in the end, are all borne by the taxpayer.

    The letter reads in part

    “CBO fails to recognize that mass illegal immigration does not come with a zero-dollar price tag” and emphasizes how “any comprehensive cost analysis, particularly of this magnitude, should examine the totality of any budgetary effects.”

    A similar comprehensive analysis, akin to the one provided by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is requested to ensure a thorough understanding of the total fiscal impact.

    The Letter Requests

    In the letter, Chairman Arrington requested that:

    • CBO provide a report on the direct spending effects of increased migration on the federal budget;
    • CBO include these direct spending effects in all future CBO baselines; and
    • That CBO list every major entitlement program impacted by mass migration, legal and illegal and its associated cost over ten years such as:
    • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
    • Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits
    • Supplemental Security Income 
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
    • Emergency Medicaid 
    • Full-Scope Medicaid
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program 
    • The Head Start Program
    • Medicare “Premium-Free” Part A 
    • HUD Public Housing and Section 8 Programs
    • Title XX Block Grants
    • Social Security
    • Student Loans 
    • Pell Grants

    The Bottom Line

    As Chairman Arrington said in his opening remarks during the “Cost of the Border Crisis” hearing:

    “CBO, in order to do their job by providing the full picture and accurate information for us as lawmakers to make the decisions and value judgments, is to have the ability to have the full net cost. That $150 billion is in no CBO analysis whatsoever. But the benefits seem a little odd and biased to me. As long as I am Chairman, I will ensure that the full picture is represented so my Democrat colleagues, my Republican colleagues, and us as a committee can deal with the facts and make decisions accordingly.”

    The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 established the CBO. The House rules state that the House Budget Committee shall be responsible for oversight of the CBO. As a steward of fiscal responsibility, Chairman Arrington will continue to ensure that CBO incorporates the full budgetary impact of immigration policies.