GOP Defends Moving Ahead on Obamacare Replacement without CBO Score

One of the top Republicans spearheading the new Obamacare replacement efforts defended the decision to move forward with their newly-unveiled plan prior to receiving a score from the Congressional Budget Office in a press conference on Tuesday morning.

Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill “is pretty well-understood” and “in practice with reconciliation legislation,” adding:

“When the Democrats did reconciliation they didn’t have a CBO score before it went to the Budget Committee, and that’s pretty much how it operates. We’ll proceed with our markups. There will be a CBO score coming, and we look forward to that before it comes to the House floor.”

The bill was released Monday evening, giving lawmakers just over a day to review the bill before it will be taken up in the House Energy and Commerce and the House Ways and Means committees as soon as Wednesday.

However, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) told reporters that he believes Republicans will attempt to undermine the CBO’s score when it does arrive:

“Because the CBO score will probably not be favorable, they are going to rely on OMB to justify it. They’ll say, ‘Well, we’re not going to use CBO anymore. They’re not accurate.'”

Pallone also expressed concern that Republicans might attempt to defer to the partisan Office of Management and Budget on the bill.

“I hope that’s not where we go, because then we’ll start going down that path with everything,” he said.

Joe Perticone contributed to this report.

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