CBO’s release this year of its annual Budget and Economic Outlook report will be delayed. The report, which is mandated by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, is typically released in January. It is the culmination of weeks of work by analysts throughout CBO and includes an update of CBO’s economic forecast and 10-year projections of federal revenues and spending consistent with that forecast.
As the Chairmen of both the House and Senate Budget Committees noted in a letter sent yesterday to CBO, major tax legislation was enacted late in December, and the Congress is currently considering proposals to modify the caps on discretionary spending and preparing appropriation bills for 2018. In that letter, the Chairmen directed CBO to produce a report that includes budget projections and an economic forecast that “reflect the tax legislation and any major decisions about spending that the Congress makes in the next few weeks.” The letter also acknowledged that such a report “cannot be produced by the February 15 statutory deadline specified in the Budget Act, or even a few weeks thereafter.”
We are working hard to incorporate the effects of the recently enacted tax bill into our economic forecast and baseline; the process is complicated and time-consuming. We will remain in close contact with the Chairmen regarding the expected timing of the report.
Keith Hall is CBO’s Director.