Congressional Budget Office

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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a non-partisan department in Congress which assesses the financial impact of legislation. The CBO was founded on July 12, 1974, with the enactment of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (P.L. 93-344). The agency began operating on February 24, 1975, with the appointment of Alice Rivlin as the first director.

To assist the Budget Committees and the Congress with enforcement of the budget resolution, CBO analyzes the spending or revenue effects of specific legislative proposals. (For proposals that would amend the Internal Revenue Code, CBO is required by law to use estimates provided by the Joint Committee on Taxation.) It prepares cost estimates of pending legislation and tracks the progress of such legislation in a scorekeeping system. CBO's cost estimates and scorekeeping system show how individual legislative proposals would change spending or revenue levels under current law and help to determine whether those budget effects are consistent with the targets in the Congress's most recent budget resolution. As required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, CBO includes in cost estimates an assessment of whether legislation contains federal mandates and provides an estimate of the costs imposed by those mandates on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.

This annual report summarizes CBO's activities under Title I of UMRA during a given calendar year and updates data provided in the agency's previous reports on that law. The report identifies which legislation before the Congress would have imposed federal mandates on another level of government or the private sector. The report also illustrates trends in federal mandates considered by the Congress since the enactment of the 1995 law.