By Erik Wasson
CBO's Elmendorf mum on another term
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf was tight-lipped Wednesday when asked if he wants another four-year term in office.
“I love my job and am focused on doing it this year,” he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
Elmendorf’s full four-year term expires in January, though he has been on the job since January 2009, when he took over for Peter Orszag in the nascent Obama administration.
The CBO director is jointly appointed by the Speaker of the House and president pro-tempore of the Senate, after considering recommendations from the two budget committees.
By tradition, the House and Senate alternate in selecting the CBO director, and Senate Democrats took the lead in 2011, when Elmendorf was given a full term.
He won the appointment despite ire among Republicans at the time over the CBO’s finding that ObamaCare reduces deficits.
Elmendorf enjoys a good relationship with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), but Ryan could vacate his budget post next year to take the helm of the Ways and Means Committee if the GOP stays in charge of the House.
The Budget Committee could fall to the conservative Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) next year.
Elmendorf was asked Wednesday about criticism the CBO faces regularly from the right and left. The CBO was blasted this week by Democrats for finding that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 could cost 500,000 jobs.
He brushed off the critiques and said “for much of the work we do there is a range of reaction.”
Elmendorf was also asked about the increasing attention and controversy the CBO reports seem to be generating in an age of social media.
“We are happy there are a growing number of people interested in serious quantitative analysis of public policy,” the unflappable director said.