House Majority Leader John Boehner said today that the Congressional Budget Office is "entitled to their own opinion" - a striking statement in light of the deference usually shown information from the nonpartisan CBO from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle....
CBS News asked Boehner whether that finding prompted concern that he is sending a signal that he is not serious about addressing the debt and deficit when the "the first major legislative action you take will increase the debt."
"Well, I do not believe that repealing the job-killing health care law will increase the deficit," Boehner replied. "CBO is entitled to their opinion, but they're locked within constraints of the 1974 Budget Act. Listen, even the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have made clear that this bill will not save the kind of money that was predicted earlier."
He added that "I don't think anybody in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit."
Except, of course, the non-partisan experts at the CBO. New House majority leader Eric Cantor is on Boehner's side, however, rejecting the CBO analysis because, well, he doesn't really have answer other than the bill "was full of budget gimmickry," and "most Americans don't like the health care bill."
Remember when the GOP thought the Congressional Budget Office was independent and non-partisan, and their word was sacrosanct? The Dem Senate communications center does, and sends out this list.
Grassley: CBO is Independent, Makes Decisions “Based Upon Facts.” In an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Senator Chuck Grassley said, “Elmendorf is responsible to the Congress. He should do nothing that compromises his responsibility to the Congress.....I said to him, you know, you're an independent person, you're supposed to be independent. How long it takes you to do your job is no concern of mine. The only concern I have is that you're intellectually honest and you make decisions based upon the facts and not because of Republican or Democrat pressure. And I think he's done that.” [“Your World with Neil Cavuto,” FOX News, 7/22/09]
Sessions Used CBO to Defend His Opposition to the Stimulus, Described CBO as “Nonpartisan Witnesses.” In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Senator Sessions said, “Well, I think we need to be cautious. I don't say it won't work. I think at the hearing today, CBO basically said - ” Mr. Cavuto interrupted to clarify and said, “We should say CBO is the Congressional Budget Office.” Senator Sessions continued and said, “- Congressional Budget Office. They're nonpartisan witnesses. They testified -- notice the inflection -- it might make a positive difference. Another witness said their projections don't include a stimulus because it's not now law but that any kind of big expenditure should help some in the short run. That we don't doubt.” [“Your World with Neil Cavuto,” FOX News, 1/8/09]
Cornyn: “God Bless Dr. Elmendorf For His Integrity And Commitment To Tell The Truth.” “I believe the professionals at the Congressional Budget Office are doing a very difficult but unpopular work. They are speaking the truth to power here in Washington and making the folks who would pass these enormous unfunded bills that impose this huge debt on generations hereafter somewhat unhappy. But I think they are doing an important service by telling us the facts. Last week I commended the Director of the CBO, Dr. Doug Elmendorf, for saying that CBO will ‘never adjust our views to make people happy.’ God bless Dr. Elmendorf for his integrity and commitment to telling the truth. We need to learn how to deal with the truth, not try to remake it or cover it up.” [Congressional Record, 6/22/09]
McConnell Described CBO as “Independent,” Praised Their Assessments. In press releases of his floor statements, Senator McConnell praised CBO’s assessments of health care and repeatedly described them as “independent.” On July 21, McConnell said, “Despite repeated assurances from the administration to the contrary, the independent Congressional Budget Office says that just one section of one of the Democrat proposals we’ve seen would force 10 million people off their current health plans.” On July 22, McConnell said, “According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, the Democrat proposals would very likely increase overall health care spending, not reduce it. There goes that argument.” [Press Releases, Office of Senator McConnell, 7/21/09; 7/22/09]
McConnell Used CBO to Further His Health Care Claims. In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Senator McConnell discussed Medicare and said, “The director of CBO, as you just indicated, has underscored what they are doing. And it's astonishing.” [“Your World with Neil Cavuto,” FOX News, 9/24/09]
McConnell Used CBO to Justify Humana’s Right to Mislead to Seniors. Senator McConnell took to the floor and the airwaves to defend insurance industry giant Humana’s First Amendment right to mislead America’s seniors. “McConnell, who has opposed health care proposals by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, was back on the Senate floor Wednesday. He pointed out that an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showed Humana's concerns were justified.” [Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), 9/27/09]
Cornyn Called CBO “Nonpartisan,” Used Them Justify His Opposition to Obama’s Budget. In a statement, Senator Cornyn used a “report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office” as “further evidence that this Administration needs to get its priorities straight.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Cornyn, 3/20/09]
Alexander Previously Embraced the CBO’s Scoring on Health Legislation. Senator Alexander justified his support of a health care proposal by highlighting the CBO’s scoring. “I endorse the plan because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said it wouldn't add a penny to the deficit, and because it wouldn't create a government-run plan to compete with private insurance plans.” [Senator Alexander column via States News Service, 8/1/09]
But the best part?
Cantor Called CBO Score a “Turning Point.” In a press conference, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said, “In following up on the Leader's statements about Republican efforts to try and make sure we accomplish health care reform, I think the news yesterday from the CBO is the turning point in the heath care debate so that we will be able to put some reason back into the discussion here and be able to produce for the middle class families in this country.” [Press Conference, 6/16/09]
Cantor Used CBO as a Validator. In an appearance on Bloomberg television, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said, “So the trade off is, do you want to go and take some steps that make sense, incrementally, towards the solution of trying to get more people having access? You do that by instilling competition, which will reduce prices. CBO validates that our bill does that.” [“Political Capital with Al Hunt,” Bloomberg, 11/6/09]
I know, you're shocked at Republican hypocrisy. Think the Village will notice it?