National Capital Region Members of Congress Blast Attack On Congressional Budget Office
Members of Congress from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia today excoriated a newly-filed amendment to the “Minibus” appropriations bills. The amendment would use the Holman Rule to target federal employees in the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which delivers projections on proposed legislation.
In a joint statement, Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) said:
“This is a foolish and unprecedented Republican attack on nonpartisan federal employees in order to pass a bill that would strip healthcare for millions of Americans. Republicans are losing the game, so now they are trying to fire the refs.
This is exactly what we worried about when Republicans reinstated this arcane rule in January. The Holman Rule empowers members of Congress to target individual federal employees. The rule is being used to punish an important advisory body for doing its job by providing forecasts which some members now find inconvenient.
This is part of a strategic assault on objectivity and expertise in the civil service. Partisan talking points cannot replace unbiased analysis. Nowhere is this more true than in our budget process.”
Though the appointment of the CBO’s director, Keith Hall, was praised by then-Budget Committee Chairman and current Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, the nonpartisan office has recently drawn fire from the White House and now Congressional Republicans following a series of reports showing that Republican bills would lead to tens of millions more uninsured Americans.