Rep. Khanna urges policies based on impact on low income, minorities

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Congressman Ro Khanna, D-_CA17. Official photo: Khanna.house.gov

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, along with other Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced a bill that would enable assessing the impact of policy and legislation on low-income and minorities in the country.

The “Legislation would allow legislators to formally consider the impacts of bills on people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, particularly low-income Americans and communities of color, and design policies that more effectively advance racial and economic equity,” an August 11, 2021, press release from Rep. Khanna’s office said.

Congressmen Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), are introducing legislation entitled, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Fiscal Analysis by Income and Race (FAIR) Scoring Act, which seeks to provide policymakers with standardized, non-partisan data about the real-world effects of their policies.

According to them, by providing disaggregated data by race and income, the bill would not only bring in fair laws and regulations, it would also further the objectives of President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

“This important bill, the CBO FAIR Scoring Act, would overhaul the current system that we have for legislative scoring,” Rep. Khanna said.

“Instead of just requiring CBO to report the fiscal cost of legislation, our bill would require them to score large-scale legislation based on its impacts on people of different races, income levels, and eventually its impact on people of different genders,” he said calling it a “needed step forward.”

The CBO Fair Scoring Act would require — the CBO to estimate the distributional impacts by race and income – in dollar terms and as a percent change in after-tax-and-transfer-income; to provide such scores to relevant congressional committees before the bills are reported to the floor, to the extent possible; to prepare a report describing possible methods for conducting distributional analyses by gender to strengthen CBO’s capacity to conduct analyses of the interaction between race and gender.

“Systemic racism and inequality is not something that has happened on its own — it is a result of specific policy choices,” Sen. Warren is quoted saying in the press release.

This legislation has been endorsed by: Working Families Party; Our Revolution; People’s Action; Indivisible; Sunrise Movement; Economic Policy Institute (EPI); National Women’s Law Center; MAZON; Demos; The Coalition on Human Needs; Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL); Church World Service; Center for American Progress (CAP); Groundwork Collaborative; National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Read the Bill Text and One-Pager (PDF)  online.

 

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