Congressional Budget Office
Officially a legislative branch agency, the office was created via the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
It focuses on:
- Congressional revenue and spending estimates, in parallel with the Joint Committee on Taxation
- Revenues for the executive branch along with the Department of the Treasury
- Estimation of spending for the executive branch, along with the Office of Management of Budget for the
The Congressional Budget Office's duties include include projecting the budgetary effects of proposed legislation and providing Congress with the objective, timely, nonpartisan analysis needed for economic and budget decisions. this includes producing the data and estimates needed for the Congressional budget process and projections on the effect on national debt.
Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 the annual Congressional budget process begins with adopting a concurrent resolution on the budget that sets forth total levels of spending and revenues, and broad spending priorities, for several fiscal years. As a concurrent resolution, it is approved by the House and Senate but does not become law. No funds are spent or revenues raised under the budget resolution. Instead, it serves as an enforceable blueprint for Congressional action on spending and revenue legislation.
CBO assists the House and Senate Budget Committees, and the Congress more generally, by preparing reports and analyses. In accordance with the CBO's mandate to provide objective and impartial analysis, CBO's reports contain no policy recommendations.
CBO is a highly collaborative organization in which many major functions and projects involve a significant amount of cross-functional, interdivisional cooperation and consultation. Although specific divisions take a lead role in fulfilling CBO's mandates, most divisions contribute to those efforts in various ways.
The Macroeconomic Analysis Division develops the economic projections that underlie the cost estimates, budget projections, and analyses prepared by the Budget Analysis Division, the Tax Analysis Division, and the three program divisions--Health and Human Resources, Microeconomic Studies, and National Security. Those program divisions take the lead in preparing policy and program analyses requested by the Congress.
Budget estimates prepared by the Budget Analysis Division may rely on models and analyses developed by the program divisions. Analysts in the Budget Analysis Division may supply data on the budgetary impact of alternative options as part of analytic studies performed by those divisions. Coordination between the divisions helps ensure the consistency of CBO's products.
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