In this week's edition of the Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF examined the possible budgetary impact of some of the latest legislative efforts in Congress.
Among the bills in the newest issue is H.R. 1010/S. 460, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. Introduced in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Act would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next 2 years, and then index it to changes in the Consumer Price Index. It would also mandate that employees who receive tipped wages, such as restaurant waiters, be paid at least 70% of the minimum wage. The Congressional Budget Office determined its impact on federal outlays would be minimal, but the legislation could impose significant costs to the private sector. It was the most popular bill NTUF examined this week, with 134 cosponsors in the House and 26 in the Senate.
Also in the latest Tab:
- Most Expensive: Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) introduced S. 578, the School Turnaround and Rewards (STAR) Act of 2013. It would authorize $900 million in the first year to fund school improvement programs in underachieving schools.
- Least Expensive: Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Tim Walz (D-MN) re-introduced H.R. 686, the Protect Our Prairies Act. The bill would reduce the amount of federal assistance provided to farmers who grow crops on native sod and grassland. It would reduce federal outlays by $82 million over 5 years, an average of $16 million annually.
- Wildcard: Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced H.R. 1272, the Maple Tapping Access Program (TAP) Act. Rep. Welch's legislation would authorize federal grants to be used to promote sustainable maple syrup tapping practices, and market the domestic syrup industry. It would increase federal spending by $20 million per year, for a total of $100 million over 5 years.