Government Executive's Charles S. Cook writes:
"The Congressional Budget Office, which has been threatened with staff cuts by Republican lawmakers upset with its forecasts on the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is pushing back against its critics.
"Keith Hall, the Republican-appointed director of the nonpartisan arm of Congress, wrote a letter on Aug. 24 to Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., describing the research methods CBO uses to produce “objective, impartial and nonpartisan” analysis. Hall defended the agency’s past projections on likely enrollment numbers and costs of the politically toxic Affordable Care Act. MacArthur helped design legislation that would have repealed and replaced Obamacare, but the GOP’s bid ultimately failed.
“When approaching budgetary and economic questions and cost estimates, the agency’s analysts—who have a detailed understanding of federal programs and the tax code—carefully read the relevant research literature and extensively examine data collected and reported by the government’s statistical agencies and private organizations,” Hall wrote. “The analysts seek out information from people with diverse perspectives on the issues. The agency encourages open discussion of the analytic issues....”