Key Dem: Mulvaney should apologize for attack on CBO analyst

Key Dem: Mulvaney should apologize for attack on CBO analyst
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Late last year, Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthTrump: Top Dems aren't allowing negotiators to make border security deal Dem rep: 'If Mick Mulvaney were president, we could’ve solved' border talks at Camp David retreat Bipartisan House group heads to Camp David retreat MORE (Ky.) was a rare Democrat to promote Mick Mulvaney’s nomination for White House budget director. On Thursday, he asked him to apologize.

Yarmuth, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Mulvaney’s charge of political bias against Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyst Holly Harvey went too far, “impugning the integrity of a public servant who has dedicated her career to producing sound analysis for decision makers.”

“He needs to apologize,” Yarmuth said in a statement.

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Mulvaney, head of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been a sharp critic of the CBO, particularly since the group released a series of reports predicting the GOP’s healthcare overhaul would erode healthcare coverage for more than 20 million people. Mulvaney this week suggested the numbers are inherently biased and questioned the value of Congress’s official scorekeeper.

"Given the authority that that has, is it really feasible to think of that as a nonpartisan organization?" Mulvaney, a former South Carolina lawmaker, told The Washington Examiner on Wednesday.

Mulvaney suggested that Harvey, a former Clinton administration official who’s been the CBO’s top health analyst for almost a decade, is unreliable based on her previous political affiliations.

"If the same person is doing the score of undoing ObamaCare who did the scoring of ObamaCare in the first place, my guess is that there is probably some sort of bias in favor of a government mandate," he said.

Republicans have bashed the CBO in recent weeks after the office predicted the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, the American Health Care Act, would eliminate coverage for 23 million people over a decade. The critics are quick to note that the CBO’s initial analysis of ObamaCare forecast that, in 2016, 23 million people would be newly covered in the law’s insurance exchanges — a far cry from the fewer than 11 million people enrolled through the middle of last year.

Democrats counter that much of the coverage gap was filled by ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, which added more than 14 million patients to the insurance rolls — well above the 10 million initially predicted by the CBO.

Yarmuth’s criticisms of Mulvaney mark a sharp shift in tone from the Kentucky Democrat, who praised Mulvaney in December as “a good friend” and a figure of “utmost integrity and character.”

“He asked me to put in some good words for him with the [Trump] transition team, which I did,” Yarmuth said in a C-SPAN interview at the time.

Mulvaney’s charges again Harvey, however, are “unacceptable,” Yarmuth said Thursday, bashing Trump’s new budget proposal for its own dubious math.

“The president's recent budget submission — full of phony economic assumptions, double counts and ill-defined policies — shows exactly why the Congress and the American people it represents need the nonpartisan CBO,” Yarmuth said.