Newt Gingrich: Don't trust the 'corrupt' CBO on GOP health plan

Not a fan of the Congressional Budget Office's review of the House GOP healthcare plan? Abolish the office.

That's what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday on Fox News after the office reported that 24 million fewer people could get coverage under the contentious proposal.

"It is corrupt. It is dishonest. It was totally wrong on Obamacare by huge, huge margins," said the ex-Georgia lawmaker. "I don't trust a single word they have published. And I don't believe them."

The host, Martha MacCallum, interrupted him: "But the head of it is a Trump appointee."

Gingrich was unfazed. "I couldn't care less," he said.

This is not always how Gingrich has felt about the office:

Former Georgia Rep. Tom Price, now Donald Trump's health secretary, was more nuanced in his appraisal of the report. "The CBO looked at a portion of our plan," said the Roswell Republican, "but not the entire plan."

The nonpartisan CBO's report said that as many as 14 million people could lose their health coverage under the House GOP's imperiled healthcare proposal by next year. That number could rise to 24 million people by 2026, leading a growing number of conservatives to revolt against the plan.

"That's not what President Trump promised," Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told CNN. "That's not what Republicans ran on."

The CBO has long been under attack from politicians who don't like the office's analysis of fiscal consequences of legislation. At the same time, lawmakers have long relied on the office's conclusions to craft policy and sway votes.

For those of you wonks really interested in diving into the subject, here's an opus co-written by fellow Insider Tamar Hallerman  about the 43-year-old law that created the Congressional Budget Office and how it fundamentally altered how Washington does its fiscal business.

More: Ga. Republicans in damage control mode on health care

Insider's note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Morning Jolt.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.