Freedom Caucus Hopes To Shrink CBO, Let Think Tanks Like Heritage And Brookings Score Budget Bills

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A handful of congressmen in the Freedom Caucus want to strip federal funding from one part of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and rely on outside think tanks to analyze budget legislation, the Washington Post reported.

Virginia Republican Rep. H. Morgan Griffith introduced an amendment to a spending bill Monday that would abolish the CBO’s Budget Analysis Division, reducing the CBO’s $48.5 million proposed budget by $15 million.

“When someone gives you bad advice again and again, why would you trust them to help you make big decisions?” Griffith said in a statement. “I believe Congress would be better served if CBO becomes an aggregator of predictions made by third-party public policy groups across the political spectrum, from left to center to right.”

CBO’s estimates are often wrong, Griffith claimed, saying, “Too often, predictions made by CBO turn out to be far off the mark. For example, it overestimated by millions the number of people who would enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.” (RELATED: Reminder: CBO’s Biggest Obamacare Prediction Fell Short By A MASSIVE Margin)

The CBO’s work on scoring the budget results of legislation could be taken up by other nonprofit, non-government groups, the Freedom Caucus suggests.

The CBO is “the one group that makes a weatherman’s 10-day forecast look accurate,” North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said at the National Press Club, WaPo reported. “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.”

Rep. John Yarmuth, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on the Budget, defended the CBO as “a long-respected institution whose rigorous analysis and reports are critical resources for Congress as we consider legislation that affects the lives of the American people.”

“These attacks should be beneath Congress. They need to stop,” Yarmouth said.

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