The White House press secretary dismissed criticisms that House Republicans’ replacement for Obamacare hadn’t yet been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office Wednesday. The CBO, Sean Spicer said, had been “way off” in its enrollment analyses for Obamacare.
While Spicer said that the House GOP proposal will follow “regular order” and that “every member of the House and the Senate will have their opportunity to have amendments offered through the committee process and on the floor,” others have been critical that the two House committees in which the proposal originated – Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce – will vote on it before a CBO report is available.
Various congressional Republicans, anticipating a CBO report likely next week, have cast doubt on the reliability of the office’s analyses.
“[Republican] leadership will put out something on the rate of growth, and they’ll have to back it up with some spreadsheets or whatever,” Rep. David Brat (R-VA) told TPM Wednesday, referring to alternatives to the CBO report. He noted that “the CBO, they’ve scored everything wrong for decades.”
“There’ll be a score in all good time,” Spicer said during a press briefing Wednesday. “But the other thing is, let’s be honest, the irony of the score is that the CBO was way off the last time. I don’t think that we’re waiting to – that that’s a big issue to us right now.
“If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” he said, adding later: “Last time, if you look at the number of people that they projected would be on Obamacare, they were off by millions. So the idea that we’re waiting for a score – It will be scored, but the idea that’s any kind of authority based on the track record that occurred last time is a little farfetched.”
Later, Spicer said that the CBO’s “record is what I’m calling into question,” not the office’s authority. But he said he would sooner accept an analysis from the Office of Management and Budget, whose director was appointed by President Donald Trump.