Statement for the Record Regarding How CBO Would Estimate the Effects of Future Authorizing Legislation on Spending From the Toxic Exposures Fund
CBO’s Director, Phillip Swagel, provides a written statement to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs about how the agency would estimate the effects of future authorizing legislation on spending from the toxic exposures fund.
Chairman Takano, Ranking Member Bost, and Members of the Committee, the Congressional Budget Office is pleased to provide information about how it would estimate the effects of future authorizing legislation on spending from the newly established toxic exposures fund (TEF, officially named the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund). In CBO’s view, some of the costs of legislation that would have previously been paid from discretionary appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will now be paid in part from the TEF. As a result, CBO’s cost estimates for future legislation that would affect activities potentially covered by the fund will show effects on both discretionary authorization levels and mandatory (that is, direct) spending. CBO currently has little information about how VA will allocate costs to the TEF. In its cost estimates for future authorizing legislation affecting the fund, CBO expects to allocate, on average, about one-third of the costs to the TEF during the 2023–2032 period.