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CBO Reaffirms: Immigration Bill Cuts Deficit $900 Billion Over 20 Years

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the immigration overhaul being pushed by House Democrats — and nearly identical to the version that passed out of committee in the Senate — would slice the deficit by about $900 billion over 20 years.  

In a letter to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., CBO Executive Director Douglas Elmendorf essentially reiterated the CBO’s earlier forecast for the Senate’s overhaul, while noting that the House version, H.R. 15, does not include $38 billion for border security in the first 10 years like the bill that passed the Senate. The CBO has estimated nearly $200 billion in cost savings in the first decade and about $700 billion in the second. That forecast assumes the bill would increase the U.S. population by about 10 million people over a decade while legalizing an additional 8 million immigrants here illegally.  

The forecast may be moot, however, given that Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has vowed not to bring up the Senate bill and has laid out immigration principles  for a GOP-led effort instead. Those principles, which include a path to citizenship for people brought here illegally as children and legal status but no “special” path to citizenship for those here illegally, only have the public support of 18 members of the House GOP, according to our CQ Roll Call whip count .

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