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CBO Congressional Budget Office : Estimating the Federal Budgetary Effects of Pandemic-Related Legislation

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09/25/2020 | 09:05am EDT

Congressional Budget Office

September 25, 2020

Estimating the Federal Budgetary Effects of

Pandemic-Related Legislation

A Presentation to the Association for Budgeting and

Financial Management's 2020 Virtual Symposium

Theresa Gullo

Director of Budget Analysis

For further information about the venue, see https://tinyurl.com/y6sl4mrs.


Four Major Laws Enacted in March and April in Response to the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

  • H.R. 6074, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020
  • H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • H.R. 748, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • H.R. 266, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act



Context for Cost Estimates

Prepared under extraordinary uncertainty about many factors

  • How long and severe the pandemic would be
  • How the economy, the Administration, and people would respond
  • How quickly programs would get up and running

Generally used CBO's March 2020 baseline projections

  • Did not account for changes to the economic outlook and fiscal situation arising from the evolving public health emergency in most cases
  • Used economic projections prepared in January 2020 for most provisions
  • Used updated economic projections for provisions related to unemployment insurance to provide useful estimates

Used revenue estimates prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.



Total Estimated Budget Impact

Deficit increase: $2.4 trillion over the 2020-2030 period

  • $1.4 trillion for mandatory programs (Payroll Protection Program [PPP], Unemployment Insurance [UI], recovery rebates)
  • $498 billion in discretionary spending from appropriations for a wide variety of federal agencies and grant programs (designated as emergency requirements)
  • $502 billion in estimated revenue losses in 2020, but an increase of $146 billion over the 2021-2030 period (JCT)

$2.2 trillion estimated to occur in 2020


This is an excerpt of the original content. To continue reading it, access the original document here.


CBO - Congressional Budget Office published this content on 25 September 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 25 September 2020 13:04:05 UTC

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