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On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the CBO Show Your Work Act, H.R. 1077. Introduced by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), the CBO Show Your Work Act would require the Congressional Budget Office to make its models and data available to Congress and the public.
Created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides members and staff of the House and Senate with fiscal and economic analyses of legislation and budget forecasts. The CBO, however, is not currently required to show the models and data on which it makes its assumptions.
While the CBO is an independent, nonpartisan agency, the agency has been criticized for providing inaccurate analyses and forecasts to Congress, including economic projections that failed to predict a major recession and wildly inaccurate assumptions about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. More recently, the CBO provided coverage estimates on health insurance reform legislation guided by a baseline that was not grounded in reality.
“CBO should improve and could improve the accuracy of its projections by adopting a transparent process that would allow independent experts to provide technical contributions and verify their conclusions, as is the standard for all academic journals,” Rep. Davidson said on the House floor after introducing the bill. “CBO is the internal accountant for every Member of Congress. Therefore, Members of Congress, and the public they serve, should have access to the data, models, and processes that create the numbers we rely on.”
The CBO Show Your Work Act would require the CBO to make the models and data employed to produce its analyses and cost estimates, as well as any details that were used, available to Congress and on the agency’s website. This much-needed transparency will allow interested parties outside of Congress to hold the CBO accountable.
Analyses and estimates produced by the CBO have a tremendous impact on public policy debates inside the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is important that the models and data used to come to the conclusions that the CBO reaches are open to the public. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the CBO Show Your Work Act, H.R. 1077.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks