Topics: CBO

CBO director: We can’t score Obama’s sequestration speech, either

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,CBO,Sequester,Douglas Elmendorf

Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, contradicted a White House talking point by observing that he has not received “a specific proposal” from President Obama that would avoid the automatic spending cuts in sequestration.

“We have not seen a specific proposal,” Elmendorf told lawmakers today when asked for budget score of the “balanced approach” that Obama outlined in brief remarks last week.

When the senator noted that “it’s hard to score that speech that the president made,” Elmendorf replied, “yes, Senator.”

The moment hearkened back to Elmendorf’s dismissal of Obama’s 2011 “budget framework” speech. “We don’t estimate speeches,” Elmendorf said at the time. “We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”

Elmendorf’s comment to the Senate reinforces a point made by The Washington Examiner’s Byron York. “While Obama has talked about a ‘balanced’ approach to deficit reduction, including ‘tax reform’ — by which he means higher taxes — he hasn’t come up with an actual plan,” Byron writes today. “The White House claims that the president has proposed sequester fixes on three separate occasions. But those were all just suggestions. The fact is, Obama and his Democratic allies who control the Senate have not proposed and passed a bill that would fix the sequester.”


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