WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to provide the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) with timely access to information they need to complete reports on the budgetary impacts of legislation has advanced in the Senate. CBO reports are often required to advance legislation through Congress, however, procedural issues can delay this office’s ability to obtain information they need from federal agencies to complete these analyses. The delays in CBO’s receipt of agency information and data can also adversely impact their ability to provide the most accurate analyses. The Senators’ legislation would make the legislative process more efficient by reducing the time it takes for CBO to obtain data from federal agencies. The bill was advanced by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Peters serves as Chair, and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
“By providing CBO with quicker access to the information they need to analyze the impacts of legislation, this bipartisan bill will help make Congress more efficient and ensure that lawmakers have up-to-date and accurate information on how proposed reforms would affect the American people,” said Senator Peters.
“The research conducted by the CBO is indispensable to the legislative process,” Senator Collins said. “Ensuring the CBO promptly receives all the information from federal agencies required for their analyses allows members of Congress to make informed decisions. This bipartisan bill will enhance the efficiency and accuracy of this process, benefiting all Americans.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Data Access Act would eliminate procedural delays in CBO’s ability to access information from federal agencies by providing CBO with the same exemption to the Privacy Act granted to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and both chambers of Congress. Similar to the GAO’s exemption, CBO would still be required to maintain agencies’ data at the same level of confidentiality that is required of the agency from which the data originated.