Chair Ryan Statement on Congressional Budget Office FY 2022 Budget Hearing

2021-03-02 14:08

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the  Congressional Budget Office FY 2022 Budget.

Dr. Swagel, thank you for joining us this afternoon to discuss the $61 million budget request for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  Phillip, we spoke a little over a week ago where you briefed me on your fiscal year 2022 request and what the $3.7 million or 6.4 percent increase would be for.  Specifically, the increase is mostly intended for salaries and benefits to increase your full-time equivalents, or FTE’s, by 11 positions to 275.  Plus, the increase is intended for software and information technology to make CBO even more responsive to the analytical needs of all the Congress.

CBO is a nonpartisan office that plays a vital role in helping Congress effectively exercise our duties enshrined in Article I, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution, know colloquially as the “power of the purse”.  You have become such a part of this institution that we may take it for granted. CBO’s role remains vital for the legislative branch to have our own independent economic analysis and cost estimate of proposed legislation, so we do not have to rely solely on the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Branch.

I should note that the Appropriations Committees are the source of some of CBO’s heaviest workload.  We employ CBO’s help in making sure our bills add up to what they’re supposed to, and we need CBO cost estimates at each stage of legislative action.  The Committee appreciates all that the staff of CBO does, as I am certain other committees similarly appreciate CBO and all the work you do for them.

Even though we are one of your biggest customers, we understand that all of Congress are your clients and that last year you had increased workload because of legislation surrounding expanded heath care coverage, drug pricing and the COVID crisis.  Additionally, I know that this year you are preparing for an increase in legislation involving infrastructure, climate, as well as the continued focus on health care as well as reconciliation, regular and potential supplemental appropriations measures.  We do keep you busy, and we are thankful for all you do.

117th Congress