Sessions: CBO Immigration Report Shows On-Budget Deficits Going Up, Not Down

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today correcting an erroneous characterization of the Congressional Budget Office score of S.744, the Gang of Eight immigration bill:

“The CBO report unequivocally finds that even over the first 10 years of the bill (a period when many welfare benefits are denied to RPIs), the ‘on-budget’ deficit will increase by $14.2 billion.

The report then shows that the deficits in the off-budget accounts will decrease by $211 billion, leading supporters to cheer that the legislation creates a surplus over 20 years. But the off-budget accounts are the payroll taxes, the FICA taxes, that are directed to the Social Security trust fund. These funds do not reduce on-budget deficits.

This $211 billion in extra revenue is Social Security trust fund money which is fully obligated to pay for the Social Security benefits that will be enjoyed in the future by those given legal status under the bill.  Every penny of those payments—and more—will be needed to honor the claims on Social Security that will be made by the RPIs when they become eligible.

This is money obligated for these future payments and cannot be considered as improving the financial picture of the United States, even though it can be made to appear so under unified budget accounting procedures.”