The Dynamics of Scoring

Research Report

The Dynamics of Scoring

A Congressional Tale
August 1, 2003


Every bill reported out of a Congressional committee must be scored - that is, its potential impact on government revenues and outlays estimated. The Joint Committee on Taxation considers bills that affect major revenue sources, while the Congressional Budget Office scores bills' spending impact along with revenues from less important sources like import tariffs. And though the process seems dull on first consideration, budget scoring can make a world of difference in how we are taxed and how much is spent. Hence, the analysts who labor deep in the background to produce scores are extremely powerful. A prime example: the recent tax cut.

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