GOP Voted To Ban Congressional Budget Office From Calculating Obamacare Repeal Costs

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In one of the inaugural moves of the just-assembled new Congress, House Republicans have reportedly voted to forbid the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) from calculating the addition to the deficit that will be prompted should ObamaCare be repealed.

Minnesota’s U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison – who is currently in the running to become the next DNC Chairperson – wrote on Twitter early Thursday morning:

‘House GOP rules package bars CBO from counting spikes in deficit spending spurred by an ACA repeal.’

If no report is prepared as to the increases to the national deficit that will be prompted by the repeal of ObamaCare, then there is at least one less inroad for opponents of ObamaCare’s repeal to make their case.

As an official House of Representatives website writes as to the background for the “House GOP rules package” described by Ellison:

‘At the beginning of each Congress, the House must… approve governing rules. A newly elected House typically adopts the rules of the previous Congress with specific amendments. The proposed rules are offered in the form of a House resolution, which is considered under “general parliamentary law” which is interpreted to include the rules of the previous Congress.’

As mentioned earlier, a couple of these “specific amendments” include provisions, such as Ellison wrote about in his tweet, that effectively allow for the repeal of ObamaCare to go forward.

As the Congressman described, the Rules Package makes at least one less inroad for opponents of ObamaCare’s repeal to make their case, because any and all considerations of the impact on the deficit caused by repealing ObamaCare are shut down.

Disturbingly, one of the most recent CBO reports – which was published in 2015 – detailing the estimated addition to the deficit that would be prompted by repealing ObamaCare, says that the repeal would add $353 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years.

The same report says that repealing ObamaCare would add $137 billion to the national debt over that time frame.

CNN reports the following of the specific provision written about Thursday on Twitter by Ellison:

‘[This] change would allow exceptions to the rule instituted by House Republicans in their recent budget plan that limits votes on any legislation that increases the federal deficit by $5 billion over a specific period. Republicans typically require any proposal that adds to the deficit has to be fully offset with cuts to other programs.’

Featured Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images.