The White House believes economic growth will cancel out the likely deficit created by proposed Republican tax cuts.
But in the congressional rules process, the growth effects may not matter. Lawmakers may have to choose between either finding a way to cut taxes without blowing up the deficit long term or passing only temporary tax changes.
That could create some headaches for the GOP as it looks to fundamentally overhaul the U.S. tax system this year.
Republicans will likely aim to pass a tax bill with only GOP votes. To do so, they will use budget reconciliation rules, which require only a majority vote rather than the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
The GOP released a tax plan framework Wednesday calling for chopping rates for individuals and businesses while broadening the tax base and scrapping many deductions. But the plan seems likely to increase the U.S. deficit significantly before taking into account economic growth, or so-called dynamic scoring.
Under reconciliation rules, a bill cannot increase the long-term deficit beyond a predetermined level. The official assessment of the bill's budget effects will use static scoring, which does not account for growth estimates, according to Ed Lorenzen, senior advisor for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group that analyzes fiscal policy.