Republicans are mad that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently concluded that their health care proposals to replace Obamacare would lead to 23 million more Americans being uninsured.
So, what do they want to do? Slash their budget.
This week in the U.S. House of Representatives, conservative Republicans are adding an amendment to spending legislation that will significantly reduce staffing for the CBO, seriously limiting their policy recommendations.
The specific language in the appropriations bill would fire 89 of the CBO’s 235 employees – a nearly 40% reduction. Republicans say this will save $15 million. Some budget hawks they are, right?
Representative Mark Meadows, head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is backing the move, saying there are other ‘think tanks’ out there for lawmakers to rely on.
“They ought to be aggregators,” Meadows said of the CBO at a National Press Club lunch. “There’s plenty of think tanks that are out there. We ought to take a score from Heritage, from AEI (American Enterprise Institute), from Brookings, from the Urban Institute and bring them together for a composite score.”
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney also warred with the CBO, calling their healthcare analysis “absurd” and wished for them to be disbanded.
Democratic House Leader Steny Hoyer says this is just what Republicans do, though, when someone disagrees with them. He’s not the least bit surprised by the budget cuts.
“When Trump administration officials either disagree with or do not understand the impacts of their own policies, they prefer to attack the nonpartisan analysts who are doing their jobs with integrity and expertise.”
The CBO has been known for its political impartiality in providing dependable, neutral information that lawmakers can use when making complex budget and tax decisions. Its staff includes economists, public policy analysts, lawyers, and editors.