Keith Hall Named as New CBO Director

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Keith Hall, who served as chief economist for President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, will become director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) April 1.

The appointment was announced last week by the chairmen of the congressional budget committees, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). They praised Hall for “more than 20 years of distinguished service” in a variety of government positions, which also included commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hall’s term as CBO director will expire in early 2019. His main challenge — providing nonpartisan numbers in a partisan environment — will be made even more challenging by the need to develop a consensus approach to “dynamic scoring,” which aims to take greater account of policies’ potential impact on the economy.

Doug Elmendorf, whose term as CBO director expired earlier this year, deserves praise for doing an excellent job in a difficult environment that included a steep recession, widespread disagreement over health care issues and an overly partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill.

External links:
Senate Budget Committee Press Release on Hall Appointment
Statement by House Budget Chairman Tom Price
Overview: About the CBO
Dynamic Scoring in Congress Is Defensible but Slippery (N.Y. Times)

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