Chairman Womack Opening Remarks at Fourth CBO Oversight Hearing

As prepared for delivery during today’s hearing, CBO Oversight: Member Day 

Good morning, and thank you for joining us as we continue our series of hearings on the Congressional Budget Office—a vital and nonpartisan congressional support agency that directly assists the House and Senate Budget Committees.

While CBO was established by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, the agency has not undergone a comprehensive review since its founding more than 40 years ago.

CBO’s mission has remained the same over the years, but expectations have clearly changed and evolved over time.

So these hearings in the House Budget Committee are intended to help us learn more about how CBO carries out its nonpartisan mandate, to consider potential areas for improvement, and to ensure the agency has everything it needs to fulfill its mission.

We started this series of hearings discussing the agency’s organizational and operational structure with CBO Director Dr. Keith Hall.

In our second hearing, we began to explore some of the more technical aspects of how CBO actually crafts the impartial work-products Congress relies on to make informed legislative decisions.

And last week, we took a deeper dive into CBO’s use of models as a tool in scoring legislative proposals and what kinds of assumptions are made in the process.

Today will be a little different than the previous three discussions.

We’re providing interested Members of the House the opportunity to be part of the ongoing conversation about CBO’s mission, work product, and transparency efforts.

Members who do not serve on this Committee engage with CBO in different ways and can present additional perspectives on the challenges they have experienced in working with CBO and possible improvements to how the agency supports Congress.

CBO is necessary for a successful and fully functioning budget process, so we do not take light of any of these conversations.

I look forward to considering ideas brought by Members of the House and continuing to identify potential areas of improvement at the agency.

Thank you, and with that, I yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Yarmuth.