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Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

The Congressional Budget Office was created by Congress in 1975. Since that time, it has continuously developed and published its own independent analyses for economic and budget related issues. Its goal is to support the process of making Congressional budgets. Ever year the agency puts together literally hundreds of estimates for costs of proposed legislation as well as dozens of routine reports.

The CBO is religiously non partisan so that it can engage in unbiased and objective analysis. It only hires staff based on their professional abilities and does not consider their political affiliations. CBO never engages in recommending policies. It is concerned with all of its reports and price estimates explaining its analytical methodology.

The CBO produces Baseline Budget and Economic Projections. It does this regularly to come up with predictions for economic and budget outcomes. These estimates assume that the present conditions for revenues and spending will continue. Such baseline projections extend for 10 year time frames as utilized in the process of Congressional budget making.

Long Term Budget Projections are another item that the Congressional Budget Office offers Congress. These extend well beyond the usual 10 year budget forecasts to cover the next 30 years. They reveal the impacts of economic developments, demographic trends, and increasing health care expenses for federal deficits, spending, and revenues.

With the Cost Estimate analyses, the Congressional Budget Office delivers estimates in writing for the expenses created by every bill which the committees in Congress approve. They reveal the ways the bill will impact revenues or spending for the coming five to 10 years.

The CBO also develops Analytic Reports which consider specific elements of the tax code, programs of federal spending, and economic and budget constraints. Such reports pertain to a number of elements of federal policy. This includes economic growth, health care, social insurance, taxes, income security, the environment, energy, national security, education, financial issues, infrastructure, and other areas.

Once the President submits his Presidential Budget, CBO get involved. It re-estimates the impacts of it. The office does this by using its particular methods for economic estimating and forecasting.

From time to time, the CBO comes up with a volume on Budget Options. This reference work provides a number of ways that the government could reduce its budget deficits. The options are varied and come from a number of sources. They include raising additional revenues and lowering spending.

The Congressional Budget Office also produces Sequestration Reports. They must put out estimates of funding caps on discretionary programs in every fiscal year that goes through 2021. They consider these numbers to determine if cancelling the pre-allocation of budgeted resources is necessary.

The CBO knows what it should study because of its mandates. It’s responsibilities are to assist the Senate and House Budget Committees in their jurisdictional affairs. They also are directed to support various other committees of the Congress. This includes especially the Finance, Ways and Means, and Appropriations Committees as well as the leadership of Congress. They are required by law to produce many of the annual reports which they create. The best known of these remains the Budget and Economic Outlook.

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