February 01, 2024
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  • House Budget Committee Holds Oversight Hearing of the Congressional Budget Office

    On January 31st, the House Budget Committee held an oversight hearing to assess the role of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The hearing saw Committee members from both sides of the aisle engage in an informed and thoughtful dialogue on how to improve the efficacy, accuracy, and transparency of CBO’s projections and ensure the organization has the necessary resources it needs to fulfill its critical role. 

    Click HERE to view the Committee’s video recap of our hearing titled “Creating a Culture of Fiscal Responsibility: Assessing the Role of the Congressional Budget Office.”

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    See below for highlights from member testimony. 

    Word on the Street:

    Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX):

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    “What are the cultural challenges that CBO has that are reflected in the [office’s] outcomes? Is there a culture of accountability? Is there a culture of welcoming criticism though transparency and peer review? Is there a culture of customer service, where you’re engaging Congress and stakeholders regularly, and they feel heard?”

    Oversight Task Force Chair Jack Bergman (R-MI)

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    “I want to discuss the CBO scoring of the [Veterans Affairs] VA related bill relating to toxic exposure fund. In short. [Due to] the PACT Act, traditionally discretionary costs like health care were shifted to mandatory spending. This…has greatly hindered our work to improve the lives of veterans and their families. While I understand the statutory requirements for CBO under the PACT Act, it is essential that toxic exposure related scoring is accurate and based on actual data.”

    Health Care Task Force Chair Michael C, Burgess, M.D. (R-TX)

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    “Because of some discussions that you, the Chairman, and I had, you opened up a portal on the CBO website allowing stakeholders to submit research and data that they have regarding the reality of drug innovation…I am grateful that this request was received and granted.”

    Budget Process Reform Task Force Chair Rudy Yakym (R-IN)

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    “One area I’m deeply concerned about is the CBO’s underestimation of the 2023 budget deficit projections by one trillion dollars. At a time when federal spending is certainly out of control, we need to take meaningful steps to rein in our spending, and it’s critical we have accurate projections.”

    Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA)

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    “It is important that we get that on the record that this was extraordinary activity by the President in spending what we would allege he was unauthorized to do…It is really really important that we all continue to have confidence.”

    Congressman Josh Brecheen (R-OK)

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    “True oversight by this Committee, for a number of years, has been lacking. I appreciate the Committee for taking this responsibility seriously…this Committee absolutely has to have correct numbers and projections to make the biggest decision Congress is tasked with, which is power of the purse.”

    Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA)

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    “Let’s talk timing and responsive scoring. There’s been a lot of discussion and concern among members of the Committees regarding the amount of time it’s taking CBO to score these bills. Because as you know, the CBO score is very important—we pay attention to it…we depend on it…I know it’s a heavy lift, but is it unreasonable for members of Congress to think that seven months is enough time to come up with a score for something like this?

    Click HERE to see the full hearing.

    The Bottom Line:

    Yesterday’s hearing was one of many steps that the House Budget Committee is taking toward restoring accountability and transparency throughout Washington’s broken budget process. 

    • Click HERE to read the Oversight Task Force’s Report, “Looking at the Numbers: Biden’s Big Government,contextualizing how much the federal government’s spending habits have grown throughout President Biden’s tenure. 
    • Click HERE to access the Oversight Task Force’s whistleblower portal to help sound the alarm on any wrongdoing concerning federal spending and fiscal management. 
    • Click HERE to submit oversight matters or relevant information to the Oversight Task Force.