Congressional Budget Office

Congressional Budget Office
Congressional Budget Office
Seal of the United States Congress.svg
Agency overview
Formed July 12, 1974
Headquarters Ford House Office Building, 4th Floor
Second and D Streets, SW
Washington, D.C. 20548
Employees 235
Annual budget $46.8 million
(FY 2011)
Agency executive Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government that provides economic data to Congress.[1] The CBO was created as a nonpartisan agency by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.



The Congressional Budget Office was created by Title II of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (P.L. 93-344), which was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on July 12, 1974. Official operations began on February 24, 1975, with Alice Rivlin as director.


The CBO's mandate is to provide Congress with:

  • Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analysis to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on a wide array of programs covered by the federal budget;
  • And the information and estimates required by the Congressional budget process.[2]

With respect to estimating spending for Congress, the Congressional Budget Office serves a purpose parallel to that of the Joint Committee on Taxation for estimating revenue for Congress, the Department of the Treasury for estimating revenues for the Executive and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. This includes projections on the effect on national debt[3] and cost estimates for legislation.


Section 202(e) of the Budget Act requires submission by CBO to the House and Senate Committees on the Budget periodic reports about fiscal policy and to provide baseline projections of the federal budget. This is currently done by preparation of an annual Economic and Budget Outlook plus a mid-year update. The agency also each year issues An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for the upcoming fiscal year per a standing request of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. These three series are designated essential titles distributed to Federal Depository Libraries and are available for purchase from the Government Printing Office. CBO also prepares reports and issues briefs and provides testimony often in response to requests of the various Congressional Committees. It also issues letters responding to queries made to it by members of Congress.


The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate jointly appoint the CBO Director, after considering recommendations from the two budget committees. The term of office is four years, with no limit on the number of terms a Director may serve. Either House of Congress, however, may remove the Director by resolution. At the expiration of a term of office, the person serving as Director may continue in the position until his or her successor is appointed.


The Congressional Budget Office is divided into eight divisions.[4]

  • Budget Analysis
  • Financial Analysis
  • Health and Human Services
  • Macroeconomic Analysis
  • Management, Business, and Information Services
  • Microeconomic Studies
  • National Security
  • Tax Analysis

Directors of the Congressional Budget Office

Ford House Office Building
Name[5] Begin Date End Date
Elmendorf, Douglas W.Douglas W. Elmendorf 02009-01-22 January 22, 2009 Present
Sunshine, Robert A.Robert A. Sunshine (Acting) 02008-11-25 November 25, 2008 02009-01-22 January 22, 2009
Orszag, Peter R.Peter R. Orszag 02007-01-18 January 18, 2007 02008-11-25 November 25, 2008
Marron Jr., Donald B.Donald B. Marron Jr. (Acting) 02005-12-29 December 29, 2005 02007-01 January 2007
Holtz-Eakin, DouglasDouglas Holtz-Eakin 02003-02-05 February 5, 2003 02005-12-29 December 29, 2005
Anderson, Barry B.Barry B. Anderson (Acting) 02003-01-03 January 3, 2003 02003-02-05 February 5, 2003
Crippen, Dan L.Dan L. Crippen 01999-02-03 February 3, 1999 02003-01-03 January 3, 2003
Blum, JamesJames Blum (Acting) 01999-01-29 January 29, 1999 01999-02-03 February 3, 1999
O'Neill, June E.June E. O'Neill[6] 01995-03-01 March 1, 1995 01999-01-29 January 29, 1999
Reischauer, Robert D.Robert D. Reischauer 01989-03-06 March 6, 1989 01995-02-28 February 28, 1995
Blum, James L.James L. Blum (Acting)
01989-03-06 March 6, 1989
Gramlich, Edward M.Edward M. Gramlich (Acting) 01987-04-28 April 28, 1987
Penner, Rudolph G.Rudolph G. Penner 01983-09-01 September 1, 1983 01987-04-28 April 28, 1987
Rivlin, Alice M.Alice M. Rivlin 01975-02-24 February 24, 1975 01983-08-31 August 31, 1983

See also


  1. ^ Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 388. ISBN 0-13-063085-3. 
  2. ^ "CBO Fact Sheet". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Staffing and Organization". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Congressional Budget Office: Appointment and Tenure of the Director and Deputy Director". 
  6. ^ Garrett, Major (February 8, 1995). "Professor chosen as CBO director; O'Neill worked for Nixon, Ford". The Washington Times: p. A11. 
    "Leader chosen for Congress Budget Office". The New York Times. Associated Press: p. 9. February 11, 1995. 
    Piain, Eric (February 11, 1995). "Professor named new CBO head; June O'Neill favors price index change". The Washington Post: p. A4.,E&p_text_date-0=02/11/1995%20to%2002/11/1995)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(Professor%20named%20new%20CBO%20head)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no. 
    Hill, Patrice (February 11, 1995). "Chambers compromise on pick; Conventional economist O'Neill gets nod to head CBO". The Washington Times: p. A4. 
    Wines, Michael (April 23, 1995). "From the Bronx to the Budget Office; A free-market theorist is Congress's new top number cruncher". The New York Times: p. 20. 
    Piain, Eric (September 4, 1995). "Honeymoon over for Kasich and handpicked budget maven". The Washington Post: p. A23.,E&p_text_date-0=09/04/1995%20to%2009/04/1995)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(Honeymoon%20over%20for%20Kasich%20and%20handpicked%20budget%20maven)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no. 
    Stevenson, Richard W. (October 29, 1998). "$70 billion surplus as U.S. closes books on 1998 fiscal year". The New York Times: p. A20. 
    Piain, Eric (October 29, 1998). "June O'Neill to depart CBO early; Embattled director to return to academia". The Washington Post: p. A25.'Neill%20to%20depart%20CBO%20early)%20AND%20date(10/29/1998%20to%2010/29/1998)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=10/29/1998%20to%2010/29/1998)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(June%20O'Neill%20to%20depart%20CBO%20early)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no. 

Further reading

  • Allen Schick, Felix LoStracco The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy, Process‎. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2000.
  • Phillip Joyce, "The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and Policymaking". Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2011.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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