Top Links: What the CBO’s immigration report does — and doesn’t — mean for reform

The CBO report may be a boon to the chances of the Gang of 8's immigration reform bill.
The CBO report may be a boon to the chances of the Gang of 8's immigration reform bill.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Top story: While the CBO report could move a few Republicans off the immigration fence, don’t expect the most vocal critics to give up the drumbeat of “Amnesty!” any time soon.

  • First, the good news: The Congressional Budget Office says the Senate’s immigration bill actually cuts the deficit: (CBO)
  • Total net savings: $175 billion over 10 years. (Mark Knoller)
  • And just to be clear: That’s [$197 billion in deficit reduction] – [$22 billion in net discretionary costs] = no reason to oppose the bill on budgetary grounds (First Read)
  • And just to throw more numbers at you: Deficit reduction over the next 20 years equals almost $700 billion. Not too shabby, Gang of 8. (Igor Volsky)
  • Sen. Rubio: “The CBO has further confirmed what most conservative economists have found: reforming our immigration system is a net benefit for our economy, American workers and taxpayers.” (The Associated Press)
  • Of course, there are short-term problems: 1) The bill will “increase average wages in 2025 and later years (but decrease them before that)” and 2) It will “slightly raise the unemployment rate through 2020.” (CBO)
  • Still, a win is a win for the Gang of 8. And they’re celebrating appropriately. (Roll Call)
  • Mind you, one Republican naysayer is already going the “skewed” route on the CBO numbers. (Niels Lesniewski)
  • “Of course, people who don’t trust CBO would be all over the score if it confirmed what they believe. CBO cuts a zillion ways.” (David Drucker)
  • Other critics are taking their complaints a different route: “CBO: Senate immigration bill would expand Obamacare” Philip Klein)
  • And while this bill could move a few Republicans off the fence, we should remember that the loudest drumbeat against this bill has always been “Amnesty!” (Twitter search, Amnesty)
  • National Review, for one, called the bill an “amnesty-first, enforcement-maybe program.” (National Review)
  • And the CBO’s report of 10 million more citizens over the next decade — and 16 million more over the next two decades — is only going to fuel the “Amnesty!” fire. (Fawn Johnson)
  • To do that, of course, critics will have to ignore the part of the report that says that in addition to the $6.5 billion for border security, the “CBO estimates that the legislation would authorize the appropriation of an additional $15 billion to bolster the existing personnel.” (CBO)

Top Links: What the CBO's immigration report does — and doesn't — mean for reform