tv House Debate on Congressional Budget Office Spending Cut Perry Amendment CSPAN July 27, 2017 11:41am-11:52am EDT
water, v.a.-military construction and legislative branch. there are 54 amendments awaiting consideration. we are also expecting to debate to continue until the evening. final passage votes sometime tonight and then members will begin their summer recess. over in the senate, of course, senate debate continuing on health programs and policy and they're in the third day of debate. just under 10 hours of debate remaining. we are expecting a final vote on friday. you can watch the debate live on our companion network c-span2. while we wait for the house to return, we'll show you some of the back and forth between members on amendments related to cutting funding to the congressional budget office. this happened on the house floor yesterday. ach control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: our nation $2 trillion in debt and $200
trillion in unfunded liabilities and we don't know the answer there, but we've got to find a way to reduce our spending and make sure the things we're paying for are worthy and actually getting what we are paying for. i'm offering amendment to h.r. 3219 to reduce the appropriations to the congressional budget office by 50.4%. we agree the c.b.o. determines the budget and economic impacts of proposed legislation which are critical to our every day decisions. oftentimes they are late and unform too often, they are woefully incorrect. i don't mean to impugn the people at the c.b.o., something is amiss. if we accept it, how are we going to get our policy right? it is consistently incorrect and has detrimental implications. this amendment reduces the c.b.o. appropriations by 50.4%,
which happens to be the exact same percentage that the c.b.o. was off when it predicted the enrollment numbers for the affordable care act exchanges in 2016. in 2010, the c.b.o. projected that 21 million people would enroll in the exchange plans by 2016. the actual enrollment was about 10.4 million people. that's an error of 50.4%. maybe the c.b.o.'s projections would have improved as the a.c.a. continued to take shape after 2010 and that seems reasonable. that's not correct. that's wrong. it didn't improve. two years later, -- correction, four years later, c.b.o. between 23 and 25 million people would receive coverage through the exchanges. in 2014, the updated c.b.o. analysis said 24 million people
would receive coverage through 2016. the 2016 enrollment in the a.c.a. exchanges is 10.4 million people. it's less than half. and predict twice as much or cost twice as much and the numbers are half as much. that's a big deal. we passed the american health care act and i went to my town hall and crmple b.o. is saying, 23 million to 24 million people are going to lose their health care, the c.b.o. based the analysis on what they projected. they don't look at reality. the reality is 10.4 million, not 23 million or 25 million. but that's how they view on this thing. that's a problem. i want to highlight the failure f the c.b.o. to cost the
expansion. in 2013, they projected that 34 million would be on medicaid or chip in 2016. once again they doubled their earlier estimate to 68 million. who gets to be off by that much and still receive -- it's not like there is no accountability, there isn't any accountability mr. speaker. in march of 2016, the c.b.o. increased its projection of spending by medicaid by $146 billion. these are figures we make decisions around here. the c.b.o. must be held accountable for its consistent failure to predict budget and economic impacts. c.b.o. is a critical contribution to our decision making and we need to be able to depend on it as such. mr. speaker, with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his
time. > i rise time to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. ryan: i have been long enough to recognize that at times the majority party will come to some level of disagreement with the congressional budget office. we were here during the health care debate and we were here during tax cuts and all kinds of things that happened in the last 15 years that i have been here. they're not perfect and they sometimes annoy us. and as i can tell from my good friend on the other side, he is in the annoyment period with the congressional budget office, but this is an essential component to what we do here. the congressional budget office sincerely attempts to give us the best, most accurate information that they could possibly provide us. and those estimates change over time as circumstances change
over time. nd when you're talking about 1/6 of the entire united states' economy, it's going to be difficult to give you entirely accurate information. but not having this essential service here, i think, would be detriment tall to this congress and our ability to gauge and forecast into the future. i oppose this amendment strongly and vigorously and i would like to yield for three minutes to the gentleman from kentucky who i know also has a strong opinion on this matter. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: i rise in strong opposition to this amendment. some republicans in congress and the trump administration are engaged in a steadily escalating campaign to tear down the congressional budget office and anyone else who doesn't tell them what they want to hear.
this eliminates half of c.b.o.'s budget. c.b.o. is our impartial referee and their work is indispenseable to congress. this amendment is not good for democracy and not consistent with the principles of good government. republicans claim to care about fiscal responsibility, but this amendment would destroy the office we rely on to help us meet that standard. my republican colleagues are willing to compromise the integrity of this house solely because they can't defend the bill repealing the affordable care act. they cannot explain to their constituents why they voted to leave 20 million americans unshurd and increase the cost of insurance for millions more. they are unable to justify cutting a trillion dollars from medicaid and jeopardizing care for seniors and nursing homes and children and families struggling to make ends meet. and they are providing cuts tore
the wealthiest americans. this amendment is a clear attempt to divert attention from that reality, to hide the truth from the american people and it will set a dangerous precedent. as students we would like to grade our own papers, but we can't do that in congress. we have to have somebody impartial who will grade them for us and tell us what this means to our budget and to the american people. congress created c.b.o. to give us our own sense of budgetary information and expertise so we would not have to rely on administration estimates. c.b.o. improves our ability to protect the power of the purse. and for more than 40 years, the .b.o. has done its mission informing our decision making. the director are apointed to their positions with regard to political affiliation solely based on ability and
qualifications and show no allegiance to any ideology or party when preparing their analysis. it is all too easy these days to take refuge in information that tells us what we want to hear, but that does not lead to sound policy. c.b.o. does not exist to give us information we want to hear, its job is to give us the information we need to make informed and responsible decisions. it is one of few institutions in washington that serves that role. it is beneath congress to attack its role and should be embarrassing to my republican colleagues they are launching these attacks because they can't defend their damaging effects of repealing the affordable care act. this needs to stop. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. ryan: i yield back. mr. perry: can i inquire the time remaining? he chair: you have one minute.
i don't disagree with my colleagues on the other side and i said that. we need the c.b.o. we created the c.b.o. the problem is it's not reliable. it's not reliable in the testimony that was just given against this amendment. that's the problem. i mean, the c.b.o. right now where there are 10.4 enrollees in two years there will be 25 million enrollees and there are leps exchanges open and fewer insurers -- it's not going up, it's going down. the c.b.o. when they say they reflect the current time, they don't. they don't even reflect reality. the c.b.o. needs to wake up. who among us works for half the time and gets it doubly wrong and gets the samer. griffith: i such time as i may