Scoring all new legislation

When members of Congress get copies of bills under consideration, they also receive estimates of the measures’ costs – although that fact certainly doesn’t seem to do much good in controlling government spending.

Lawmakers wondering how bills would affect employment are left to do their own research or, worse, rely on lobbyists’ claims.

Recent bills introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives would change that. They would require that the Congressional Budget Office also “score” bills based on how many jobs they would create, protect, or, more likely, eliminate.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced the Senate version of the bill. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., introduced the House measure.

Manchin made an excellent point, insisting “it’s time that lawmakers start thinking about one simple question before they cast their votes: how will this bill impact jobs and job growth in America?”

He’s right.

Both houses of Congress should make approval of the bill a priority in January. Whether they actually do that is anyone’s guess, but based on history, we certainly won’t be holding our breath for it to happen.