The U.S. Capitol building stands past visitors at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images
July 21, 2017 11:35 AM EDT

Every former director of the Congressional Budget Office has signed a letter urging Congress to “respect” the agency, which has released estimates that millions of people would lose insurance under the Republican health care plan.

“Relying on CBO’s estimates in the legislative process has served the Congress — and the American people — very well during the past four decades,” the letter concludes. “As the House and Senate consider potential policy changes this year and in the years ahead, we urge you to maintain and respect the Congress’s decades-long reliance on CBO’s estimates in developing and scoring bills.”

The missive comes as Republican leaders in the White House and Congress have criticized CBO for its scoring of the healthcare options the GOP is considering.

“I think that’s kind of a bogus number,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said of the latest estimate that 22 million more people would be uninsured under the plan. The White House released a video saying CBO’s “math doesn’t add up” and accusing them of “faulty numbers.”

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, accused CBO of being partisan back in May in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself,” he said, “‘Has the day of the CBO come and gone?'”

The White House director of legislative affairs and a National Economic Council aide criticized the agency in an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this month, as did Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan in an op-ed in the conservative Washington Examiner Friday.

Both the White House and the House of Representatives released budgets this year that relied on their own economic assumptions rather than CBO growth projections.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Tessa Berenson at

You May Also Like