Or, “Who will rid me of this troublesome study?”
From The Hill‘s On the Money:
Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.) said he was disturbed that the Congressional Research Service withdrew the report [over tax rates and their impact on economic growth] because of political pressure, after The New York Times reported that Senate Republicans had taken issue with the study.
“It would be completely inappropriate for CRS to censor one of its analysts simply because participants in the political process found his or her conclusion in conflict with their partisan position,” Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, wrote to CRS leadership.
Staffers for Senate Republicans have confirmed that they lodged complaints over the report, and pushed back on the report quickly after it was originally released.
Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a release Thursday that the CRS report was “highly questionable” and employed “loaded political language.”
Ferrier also termed GOP conversations with CRS as “constructive,” and circulated criticisms of the study from the Tax Foundation and George Mason University.
The CRS report is available here. The studies from the Tax Foundation and George Mason University (to be specific, the Mercatus Center at GMU) are actually blogposts, and much as I think blogposts can be informative (otherwise, I wouldn’t be a blogger), I don’t think of them “studies” in the academic sense. But readers can judge for themselves: Tax Foundation and Mercatus Center. (Both authors of the blogposts are GMU Ph.D.’s)
From the NYT:
Republicans did not say whether they had asked the research service, a nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress, to take the report out of circulation, but they were clear that they protested its tone and findings.
Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Mr. McConnell and other senators “raised concerns about the methodology and other flaws.” Mr. Stewart added that people outside of Congress had also criticized the study and that officials at the research service “decided, on their own, to pull the study pending further review.”
So, we don’t know exactly what happened so that this study was “disappeared”. But we should find out, as the CRS is, like the CBO, a source of nonpartisan analysis that is in short supply in Washington, D.C. these days. (And, recalling what Newt Gingrich said about the CBO, I think my worries justified).