Testimony on the Congressional Budget Office Request for Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2025 – Updated

On April 10, 2024, CBO’s Director, Phillip Swagel, testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s request for appropriations for fiscal year 2025. This posting includes a summary of the Director’s testimony followed by a link to his complete testimony and links to supporting documents.


Chairman Amodei, Ranking Member Espaillat, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Congressional Budget Office’s budget request. CBO requests appropriations of $73.5 million for fiscal year 2025: About 89 percent would be for pay and benefits; 7 percent would be for information technology (IT); and 4 percent would be for training, expert consultant services, office supplies, and other items. The request amounts to an increase of $3.5 million, or 5 percent, from the $70 million that CBO received for 2024. That increase would address increased costs brought about by inflation, sustain investments in IT infrastructure, and enable CBO to expand its staff in key areas.

The requested budget is based on strong interest in CBO’s work from the Congressional leadership, committees, and Members. On the legislative front this past year, CBO published about 675 cost estimates and devoted significant resources to analyzing the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (Public Law 118-5), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (P.L. 118-31), and H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. The agency also fulfilled thousands of requests for technical assistance related to appropriation bills and the reauthorization of the farm bill. Providing estimates and assistance to the 119th Congress as it considers significant legislative initiatives is likely to require additional resources.

Operating under a continuing resolution—that is, at its fiscal year 2023 funding level—for half of fiscal year 2024 has been challenging. CBO postponed filling vacant positions and allowed the agency to shrink from 279 in late 2022 to 267 now. In addition, the agency cut back in myriad ways to save money.

CBO’s fiscal year 2024 funding will enable the agency to grow back to 276 positions by the end of the year, and the fiscal year 2025 request would support 285 employees—enough to satisfy its responsibilities under the Congressional Budget Act and enable it to be even more responsive in preparing cost estimates and providing technical assistance to Congressional committees.

Of the nine new staff members in 2025:

  • Five would improve CBO’s capabilities to produce dynamic analysis (that is, determining how changes in fiscal policies would affect the economy), long-term estimates, analysis of defense weapons systems, and estimates of credit programs (like student loan programs);
  • Two would enhance CBO’s responsiveness in producing cost estimates and providing technical assistance in the legislative process;
  • One would enhance CBO’s IT security; and
  • One would boost outreach to Congressional staff and the press.

CBO plans to use expert consultants more than it has in the past—enabling the agency to shift to the Congress’s key areas of focus more easily and to be more nimble in conducting facility management, work in IT, and financial management.

CBO’s requested increase is entirely for personnel expenses. In the request, total non personnel expenses decline by about 3 percent because some of the agency’s spending for IT in 2024—including purchases of equipment, cyber­security, and cloud services—is for deferred projects that will not recur in 2025.



Below are answers for the record to questions submitted by Congressman LaTurner  following the above referenced testimony by Philip Swagel on April 10, 2024.
On April 10, 2024, the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch of the House Committee on Appropriations convened a hearing at which Phillip L. Swagel, the Congressional Budget Office’s Director, testified about the agency’s appropriation request for fiscal year 2025. After the hearing, Congressman LaTurner submitted questions for the record.

Established in 1974, The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government.  It is charged with providing  members of Congress  objective  analysis of budgeting and economic issues to support the congressional budget process. Each year, CBO economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.

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