CBO: Immigration bill would save $197 billion by 2023

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its estimate on the cost of the Senate immigration bill, and advocates for the bill quickly hailed the results.

From Lori Montgomery's story:

The bipartisan immigration bill under consideration in the Senate would reduce federal deficits by nearly $200 billion over the next decade, and continue generating savings in the years beyond, even after millions of new citizens became eligible for health and welfare benefits, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.

The long-awaited report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office marked a major victory for the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators who have spent months negotiating the details of the measure. While some conservatives contend that the bill would cost the nation billions of the dollars, CBO analysts concluded the opposite, undercutting a potentially powerful argument against the legislation.

Advocates argue that the bill undercuts a study by the conservative Heritage Foundation that found that the bill would cost more than $6 trillion.

Conservatives opposed to the bill have often pointed to that study as evidence that the newly legalized immigrants would create a drag on the economy by becoming eligible for government services.

The CBO also estimates that the bill would save $700 billion between 2024 and 2033.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · June 18, 2013