May 01, 2024
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  • What They Are Saying: H.R. 7032, Congressional Budget Office Data Sharing Act

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 7032, the “Congressional Budget Office Data Sharing Act,” by a voice vote. 

    This is the second bill of the 118th Congress that maintains sole House Budget Committee jurisdiction to pass the House Floor under suspension

    H.R. 7032 will maintain confidentiality, provide much-needed clarity to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) authority, better safeguard legislative intent, and implement new reporting requirements. This bill is the first of many the House Budget Committee will consider to better exact the necessary oversight and reforms to the Congressional Budget Office. 

    What they are saying:

    Support for swift passage of H.R. 7032 has been discussed by a number of stakeholders and experts, including:

    Phillip Swagel – CBO Director

    “Enacting the bill would remove the caveat and, instead, provide CBO access to executive branch data unless that access is specifically disallowed by a future law. H.R. 7032 also includes a reference to section 203(e) of the Congressional Budget Act to highlight CBO’s obligation to protect the restricted information it receives. Better and more timely access to data enhances the precision of CBO’s work, and it gives the Congress better—and more timely—information to make informed decisions about policy. Such access also helps to ensure equal footing with the executive branch.”

    Douglas W. Elmendorf – Former CBO Director

    H.R. 7032 would resolve such ambiguity, allowing CBO to obtain data from executive branch agencies without obstacles as long as CBO maintains the required degree of confidentiality. This clarification of CBO’s ability to access agency data would streamline CBO’s work process and help CBO to deliver the timely, rigorous, fact-based analysis on which the Congress depends.”

    “I applaud the House Budget Committee for its legislation allowing CBO more access to data from federal agencies. I urge the House to pass the bill in time for the Senate to act expeditiously as well…

    …The bill the House plans to consider will help clarify the ability of agencies to overcome any legislative restrictions that might impose concern about the legality of transfers. Other concerns can be mitigated using an MOU.”

    Sandy Davis  Former CBO Associate Director for Legislative Affairs

    “It is also important to note that the House Budget Committee reported H.R. 7032 by a unanimous vote of 30-0. In my view, that vote strongly suggests that the Committee views this measure as a buttress for Congress's institutional capacity to protect its power of the purse under Article I of the Constitution. That is reminiscent of the strong bipartisanship that led to the enactment of the Congressional Budget Act and other institutional reforms in the early 1970s to reassert Congress’ constitutional prerogatives. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the enactment of that landmark measure, H.R. 7032 represents an important restatement of and enhancement to that critical law.”

    Doug Holtz-Eakin - Former CBO Director

    “This relatively modest clarification of CBO’s authority to request and receive data will strengthen CBO’s ability to provide Congress with timely cost estimates, more detailed reports, and other information supporting Congress’ deliberations. I congratulate you on the successful vote in the Budget Committee and hope to see H.R. 7032 enacted into law.”

    Economic Policy Innovation Center

    “H.R. 7032, the Congressional Budget Office Data Sharing Act, would improve CBO's ability to access data from the Executive Branch while requiring CBO to maintain ‘the level of confidentiality required by law’ to protect any sensitive information. The bill also includes a new requirement for CBO to report to Congress on CBO's requests for data from the Executive Branch. Access to accurate and timely information is important for lawmakers to do their work for the American people, and we applaud your bipartisan efforts in this regard.”

    “The Congressional Budget Office Data Sharing Act (H.R. 7032) empowers CBO to get the data it needs to get the job done, ensuring legislators can make informed budgetary decisions. Improving fiscal reporting should be a nonpartisan priority and it’s encouraging to see that this is the case for H.R. 7032, which was reported out of the House Budget Committee with unanimous support.”

    Bipartisan Policy Center

    “With the 50th anniversary of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act approaching, now is the perfect time for lawmakers to be considering reforms large and small that would improve upon this law and update it for the budgetary challenges lawmakers face in the 21st century. BPC looks forward to working with you and the members of the House Budget Committee on this and other proposals to reform and improve the congressional budget process.”

    Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

    “The Congressional Budget Office Data Sharing Act would streamline the process for CBO to obtain such data and thus contribute to improved and more timely information for lawmakers. Policymakers should pass this bill."

    National Taxpayers Union Foundation

    The bipartisan CBO Data Sharing Act would help improve CBO’s important work by streamlining its access to needed information. In turn, CBO can provide lawmakers and taxpayers with more accurate and timely cost estimates of legislative proposals.”