Federal employee union offers defense of CBO

Federal employee union offers defense of CBO
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The country’s largest independent union for federal employees on Wednesday expressed concern over an amendment targeting 89 employees of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Rep. Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithOvernight Health Care: Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat | House panel to examine federal marijuana policies | House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers over role in crisis The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-Va.) is offering an amendment to the spending bill being considered this week in the House that would use the recently-revived Holman rule to cut funding from specific CBO employees involved in scoring bills.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents 150,000 federal employees, but not those of the CBO, said the use of the rule would upend the appropriations process.

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“This amendment is an example of how the Holman Rule targets nonpartisan public servants, just because they did their job,” a statement by the union said.

“Taxpayers want a federal workforce that is based on merit and employees who carry out their agency missions with professionalism and integrity. For Congress to upend those standards and punish individuals because of the work that they are assigned is outrageous,” it continued.

The amendment is part of an ongoing battle by conservatives and the administration to discredit the CBO, the non-partisan, professional agency that assesses the budgetary impact of Congressional bills.

The CBO has earned ire for its projections that the [resident’s budget would not balance, as the White House claimed, and that various Republican healthcare plans would lead the uninsured rate to rise precipitously.  

The Holman rule, which the GOP revived this year for the first time since 1983, allows for amendments that defund employees serving specific functions in a federal agency, letting members of Congress pinpoint employment cuts instead of simply slashing an agency's overall budget.