An Oklahoma congressman is pushing to make sure that he and his colleagues have a more accurate understanding of how particular bills will impact the economy before they vote on them.
Representative Kevin Hern, (R) OK-1, reintroduced his Pro Growth Budget Act earlier this month; Hern also introduced the legislation during the last Congress. He said he knows it’s not likely to go anywhere now, but he believes that will change after the 2022 midterm elections.
"So, we are setting a tone about the direction of where we want to go policy-wise, when we take back the majority," Hern said.
If the GOP were to reclaim the majority in the House, Hern believes Republican leadership would be supportive of the legislation and of his conservative approach to spending. He doesn't hesitate to point out, however, his belief that both parties share blame for the nation's massive debt.
"One thing that members of Congress are really good about, is they want to put bills out to satisfy a particular constituency, but they never look at the broader impact," Hern stated.
Under Hern's bill, though, they would have no choice.
The Pro Growth Budget Act, which has several Republican co-sponsors, requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) use what's known as 'dynamic scoring' in reviewing major legislation. Dynamic scoring is based on macro-economic analysis -- essentially, the big picture.
"The CBO would look and say, 'Okay, money is being spent, what kind of job growth is there going to be? What kind of curtailment in other spending would there be? What kind of duplicative work would be uncovered and removed?' And so, all these things will be factored in into the CBO scoring as we go forward," Hern explained.
Dynamic scoring currently is only used when requested by the bill's author, and Hern said that's not often.
"People don’t like to be held accountable for spending," Hern said.
But the bipartisan group of senators who negotiated the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal announced last week reportedly used dynamic scoring in helping to come up with a plan to pay for the package without raising taxes.
Rep. Hern said it's true and he approves.
"They are being honest in how you should look at this. Again, this is investment, these are things that we should be doing at the federal level," he said/
As to whether he supports the infrastructure deal itself, Hern said he’ll answer that question once there’s an actual bill to read.