Delaney-Hanna-Peters Introduce Bipartisan Dynamic Scoring Bill to Encourage Smart Public Investments, Bring Accurate Budgeting to Congress
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has filed the Honest Dynamic Scoring Resolution, legislation that would make sure that the economic benefits of smart public investments in areas such as infrastructure, research and development and education are accurately reflected in budget projections. The bipartisan legislation was introduced with lead Republican Congressman Richard Hanna (NY-22) and Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52).
Under current House rules, macroeconomic or “dynamic” scoring – scoring that takes into account the secondary benefits of legislation – is effectively limited to tax bills. The bill would ensure that all major bills are scored using the same methodology and that the economic benefits of investing in roads, bridges and transit, of educating the next generation and of supporting new technological and scientific innovation are accounted for.
“Building new ports and runways, training new high-skill workers, investing in new technologies – these choices grow our economy, create jobs and reduce the deficit and this fact should be reflected in our congressional projections. The House budgeting process is broken: we have one set of facts for tax bills and another set of facts for public investments. We’ve tilted the scales to favor one specific agenda,” said Congressman Delaney. “As a pro-growth progressive, I favor dynamic scoring because I believe we must increase our nation’s investment in infrastructure, research and education. In the interest of accurate budgeting, we need to score and analyze all bills the same way; this is more intellectually honest and necessary for better policy decisions.”
“Traditional budget score keeping fails to capture the benefits of pro-growth policies like infrastructure investments and tax cuts, but we know that maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure creates jobs, grows our GDP, and lowers transportation costs for businesses and individuals alike,” Congressman Hanna said. “In the same way that we consider the macroeconomic effects to determine the economic impacts of tax cuts, we should use the same methods to fully capture the benefits to the economy of investing in our infrastructure.”
“We need to provide lawmakers with an accurate picture of how scientific research, infrastructure, clean energy technology, and education will benefit our economic growth beyond a simple income statement calculation,” said Congressman Peters. “Our current budgeting system gives no incentive to make investments today that will create millions of jobs, save billions of dollars, and keep the United States ahead of our competitors.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) provide Congress with a nonpartisan financial projection – or “score” – of the expected effect proposed pieces of legislation would have on the federal budget. A bill’s score is typically instrumental in the success or failure of legislation. The Honest Dynamic Scoring Resolution amends House rules, lowering the threshold for bills to be dynamically scored to 1% of the previous year’s discretionary spending and any spending in an appropriations bill for which the authorization was dynamically scored.
As outlined in CBO’s 2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook, published in June, “increases in federal investment promote long-term economic growth by raising productivity. Spending on education helps develop a skilled workforce, spending on R&D encourages innovation, and spending on infrastructure such as roads and airports facilitates commerce. […] The result of that greater productivity is higher private-sector output.” (page 79)
According to a white paper released by McGraw Hill Financial earlier this month infrastructure investment should be dynamically scored because it leads to economic growth and that a “$100 billion dollar infrastructure investment would generate a 20-year revenue offset ranging from $12.5 to $33.1 billion.”
To read Congressman Delaney’s Washington Post op-ed on honest dynamic scoring, click here.