Amendment to Gut CBO — Make those unacceptable swamp numbers slow and unusable

Update The House Rules Committee is allowing the Griffith amendment to move to the floor for debate and a vote.

On July 24, Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), along with Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Scott Perry (R-PA), submitted to the Rules Committee an amendment to abolish the Budget Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and transfer its duties to the Office of the Director.  The amendment was made to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act of 2018, through the use of the Holman Rule.  A separate amendment filed by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) would also eliminate the same division and specify that the CBO instead evaluate legislation “by facilitating and assimilating scoring data” compiled by four private think tanks — the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Urban Institute.

During a Monday appearance at the National Press Club, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said “There’s plenty of think tanks that are out there. And so we ought to take a score from Heritage, from AEI, from Brookings, from the Urban Institute and bring them together for a composite score that would represent a very wide swath of think tanks and their abilities. We think that’s a pragmatic way to use the private sector and yet let Congress depend on a score that is accurate.”

During the first week in January, House Republicans reinstated the Holman Rule, an arcane procedural rule that empowers any member of Congress to propose amending an appropriations bill to single out a government employee or cut a specific program. It was first enacted in 1876 and rescinded in 1983, and was reinstated in January on a temporary basis.

 

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