MARCH 18, 2010
The overwhelmed federal agency that provides Congress with crucial economic data on pending legislation appealed for much-needed new staff this week and instead got a crazed minority quota mandate from the Democrat who controls its funding.
Overworked evaluating health care reform plans, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which has the task of writing official cost estimates for bills, desperately needs more manpower. Its stressed-out staff is working inhumane 100-hour workweeks and demands are only increasing with President Obama’s packed agenda, according to a Washington D.C. newspaper report. After all, the nonpartisan agency provides figures and estimates required in the Congressional budget process.
During a pitch to a House Appropriations subcommittee this week to add new staff, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf was ordered to hire more women and minorities by the congresswoman who allocates its funding. Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz instructed Elmendorf, who is appointed by the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate, to essentially create a quota system at the CBO.
The CBO director said he’s tried hiring more minorities by recruiting at historically black colleges and universities but claims there aren’t many women and minorities who qualify to work at the agency, which requires candidates to be U.S. citizens due to the delicate nature of the work. Not many U.S.-citizen women or minorities are earning doctoral degrees in economics, which makes the hiring pool small, Elmendorf told Wasserman Schultz.
The notoriously liberal lawmaker from south Florida insisted, telling the CBO director that he’s “got to reach down much further” by taking a “leadership role” in raising awareness of math and economics as careers for women and minorities. She also told Elmendorf that he needs to start a program to get children well before college because by that age women and minorities have already decided against math and economics.
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