Harder Introduces Budget Transparency Act to Force Administration to Release Economic Projections
WASHINGTON – After the Trump Administration announced it would not release economic projections as part of its “mid-session” budget review this summer, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) introduced the Budget Transparency Act, legislation which would force the assessment to be included in the budget and released to the public and lawmakers in Congress. Every year since the 1970's, the White House has released a “mid-session” budget forecast to the American public, which includes economic projections that are vital to understanding how the economy is doing. Federal spending has significantly increased to help the country contain the health and economic fallout from the Coronavirus Pandemic, but America’s economic outlook appears uncertain, including volatile employment rates hurting everyday Americans. Congress uses this information when making decisions about where and when to provide additional aid.
“When taxpayer money is spent, people have the right to know where it’s going and members of Congress need this information to better understand where funding is most needed,” said Rep. Harder. “The White House shouldn’t be putting politics in front of transparency. The economic recovery from this pandemic doesn’t appear to be anywhere near finished, and we need the facts to fully understand how to help.”
The legislation would legally require administrations to release updated economic forecasts, including projections for the Federal budget deficit, unemployment rate, changes to the gross domestic product (GDP), the consumer price index (CPI), and interest rates, as well as a justification for any differences in such economic projections of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office.
Even during the depths of the 2008 Great Recession, the White House continued to release budget and economic forecasts. The information was used by members of Congress to make decisions regarding recovery efforts. The lack of information from the White House will prevent Congress from making those decisions.