Chairman Reed, Ranking Member Braun, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Congressional Budget Office's budget request. CBO is asking for appropriations of $64.6 million for fiscal year 2023. Of that amount, 90 percent would be for pay and benefits; 7 percent would be for information technology (IT), including tools to improve cybersecurity; and 3 percent would be for training, expert consultants, office supplies, and other items. The requested amount represents an increase of $3.7 million, or 6.0 percent, from the $61.0 million that CBO received for 2022.
The requested budget is based on strong interest in CBO's work from Congressional leadership, committees, and Members. In 2021, the need to analyze large and complex legislation—including the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Build Back Better Act of 2021—while continuing to assess the course of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy strained the agency's resources in many areas. In the future, significant legislative initiatives are likely to require additional resources. The budgetary increase that CBO is requesting would enable the agency to be even more responsive to Congressional needs by fully funding the staffing increase that is under way this year and by funding seven new staff members, equivalent to four full-time-equivalent positions (FTEs), in 2023:
Four staff members to deliver more analysis of health care, climate change, and energy policy issues—areas in which CBO anticipates additional interest and legislative activity;
Two staff members to support more senior analysts when demand surges for analysis of a particular topic or when additional assistance is needed for a complicated estimate; and
One staff member to assist CBO's efforts in information technology.
Because so much of CBO's budget is devoted to personnel costs, if actual funding proves markedly less than the proposed amount, CBO will have to reduce the current size of its staff, affecting the agency's ability to be transparent and responsive.