GOP vs. CBO with a move to eliminate the budget analysis division

GOP leaders are looking to dissolve a division of the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency most recently in the spotlight for its review of the Republican health care plan.

An amendment was filed Monday by members of the the House Freedom Caucus to eliminate the C.B.O.’s Budget Analysis Division. As reported by the Washington Post, the plan would cut 89 jobs and $15 million from the C.B.O. budget.

Instead, another amendment from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) would order the agency to instead evaluate laws by taking data collected by the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. The agency’s score of the Senate health care plan earlier this month was believed in part to have thwarted the bill, but C.B.O. scores have worked against left-leaning agendas as well. Hillary Clinton’s health care plan in the 1990s failed in part due to the office.

So what would a gutting of the Budget Analysis Division mean for future bills? Libby Denkmann speaks to a former acting director of the C.B.O. to find out more.


Donald Marron, fellow and director, Economy Policy Initiatives at The Urban Institute; he was acting director of the Congressional Budget Office in 2006

Norbert Michel, director of the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank