Organization and Staffing

CBO is organized into the following divisions:

CBO's collegial work environment and flat organizational structure foster collaboration and teamwork across divisions (and within divisions). For example, the analytic reports produced by analysts in several divisions rely on the economic projections prepared by the Macroeconomic Analysis Division and on the cost estimates and budget projections prepared by the Budget Analysis and Tax Analysis Divisions. Similarly, the budget projections and cost estimates prepared by the Budget Analysis and Tax Analysis Divisions draw on models and analyses produced by other divisions.

CBO's staff numbers about 235. Most of those people are economists or public policy analysts with advanced degrees, but the agency also employs lawyers, information technology specialists, editors, and people with other areas of expertise that contribute to the agency’s mission.

Office of the Director

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. Directors are appointed for four-year terms, and they may be reappointed to the position; in addition, a Director serving at the expiration of a term may continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 specifies that CBO’s Director is to be chosen without regard to political affiliation. CBO has had eight Directors and several Acting Directors.

The rest of CBO's staff, including the Deputy Director, are appointed by the Director. CBO Directors have established a firm tradition of retaining staff from their predecessors. Directors appoint all CBO employees solely on the basis of professional competence, without regard to political affiliation.

The Office of the Director is home not only to the Director and Deputy Director but also to the Associate Director for Economic Analysis, who contributes to all aspects of the agency’s analytic work; the Associate Director for Legislative Affairs, who serves as CBO’s central liaison with the Congress; the Associate Director for Communications and the members of the Office of Communications, who are responsible for CBO’s website and all of the agency’s public affairs activities, including relations with the media and with the public; and the Office of the General Counsel, which performs the agency’s legal work and acquisitions.

Budget Analysis Division

The Budget Analysis Division produces baseline projections of federal spending, formal cost estimates for nearly every bill approved by Congressional committees, and informal cost estimates for thousands of proposals that committees are considering. The formal cost estimates include estimates not only of the effects of the legislation on the federal budget but also assessments of the costs imposed on state, local, and tribal governments and on the private sector.

In addition, the division also makes key contributions to many of CBO's analytic reports and works on:

Financial Analysis Division

The policy analyses of the Financial Analysis Division focus on the financial commitments of the federal government, including federal credit and insurance programs and government-sponsored enterprises. The division also provides support throughout CBO for financial valuation and modeling and for projections of financial variables.

Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division

The Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division analyzes a range of federal programs and policies that include Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies provided through health insurance exchanges, and Social Security. The division produces reports on a range of policy issues and plays a key role in certain estimates of proposed changes in health care programs. The division is also responsible for CBO’s long-term budget projections and collaborates on analyses of the long-term effects of proposed legislation.

Macroeconomic Analysis Division

The Macroeconomic Analysis Division generates CBO’s economic projections, which underlie the agency’s budget projections. The division also studies major developments in the economy, including changes in labor force participation, trends in productivity growth, and the recent recession and weak recovery. In addition, the division analyzes the short-term and longer-term effects on the overall economy of some proposed changes in federal tax and spending policies.

Management, Business, and Information Services Division

The Management, Business, and Information Services Division provides administrative and support services for CBO. The division’s responsibilities include the agency’s human resources activities, financial systems, information and technology resources, library services, and facilities. Additionally, the division is responsible for editing and producing CBO’s publications.

Microeconomic Studies Division

The Microeconomic Studies Division analyzes a broad range of programs and policies with significant implications for the federal budget and the economy. They include federal programs related to education and income security; federal investments in physical infrastructure such as highways; and federal policy related to energy, natural resources, climate, and the environment.

National Security Division

The National Security Division analyzes policy issues related to the defense budget, veterans’ affairs, and homeland security. The division examines the long-term costs of the Defense Department’s plans, alternative ways of achieving certain military capabilities, and the benefits and drawbacks of possible changes in military compensation and veterans’ benefits.

Tax Analysis Division

The Tax Analysis Division projects future federal revenues (from individual income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, and other sources), using economic models and microsimulation techniques. The division also analyzes the distribution of federal taxes and spending, and it examines how possible changes in tax law would affect the behavior of taxpayers and the overall economy.

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