Eight former CBO directors defend the agency amid Republican criticism

(CNN) 8 former directors of the Congressional Spending budget Office sent a letter in order to congressional leadership Friday to emphasize the agency’s importance and react to criticism from Republican lawmakers as well as the White House.

“We write to express the strong objection to recent assaults on the integrity and professionalism from the agency and on the agency’s function in the legislative process, ” the particular notice said.
The nonpartisan agency has come under fire recently for its analyses of several variations of the Republican Home and Senate health care bills.

Most recently, the CBO estimated Wed that the Senate costs to repeal but not replace the particular Affordable Care Act would depart 32 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under present law. A report Thursday estimated 22 million more will be uninsured under a full repeal plus replace bill.
Republicans have been openly critical from the CBO’s numbers. House Speaker John Ryan on Thursday called the CBO’s calculate “bogus” and “not credible. ” Marc Short, the particular White House’s director of legal affairs, and National Economic Authorities aide Brian Blase published an op-ed in The Washington Post on Sunday calling the CBO’s methodology “fundamentally flawed. ”

The White-colored House even tweeted a video last week criticizing the CBO intended for inaccurately estimating ACA enrollment figures. In May, White House Office associated with Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney questioned the agency’s quite existence, asking the Washington Examiner , “Has the day of the CBO came and went? ”

According to the signers of the letter in order to congressional leaders, the answer to Mulvaney’s question is no: The CBO provides served the American people properly for 42 years, the former company directors contend.
“As the House and Senate consider possible policy changes this year and in the particular years ahead, we urge you to definitely maintain and respect the Congress’s decades-long reliance on CBO’s estimations in developing and scoring expenses, ” the letter said.
Ryan and United states senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to immediately respond to a request for opinion.
The former company directors include a number of scholars and professionals of both conservative and generous leanings: Dan Crippen, former professional director of the National Governors Organization; Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the Kennedy school of Government at Harvard University; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, American Actions Forum president; June O’Neill, Baruch College economics professor; Peter Orszag, managing director of Lazard; Rudolph Penner, Urban Institute fellow; Robert Reischauer, Urban Institute president emeritus; and Alice Rivlin, Brookings Organization senior fellow.
Current CBO Director Keith Corridor, a former staff economist for Leader George W. Bush, was selected by GOP leaders in 2015. He did not sign the notice.
While the signers acknowledged that not every CBO calculate is accurate, they argued that will “such analysis does generate estimations that are more accurate, on average, than quotes or guesses by people who are not really objective and not as well informed because CBO’s analysts. ”
The letter comes as McConnell plans to hold at least one vote on the Republican health care plan next week.