Government Bytes


Latest Taxpayer's Tab: VAWA, MCAP, and NASA

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

In this week's edition of the Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF takes a look at a fresh group of bills from the 113th Congress, including this week's most-friended bill, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

Introduced in the House as H.R. 11 by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) and as S. 47 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill is a continuation of last Session's efforts to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The 112th Congress managed to pass seperate reauthorization bills out of each chamber, but couldn't agree on a compromise package in time. Congresswoman Moore and Senator Leahy have included the bulk of those bills in H.R. 11 and S. 47, including provisions that would fund education, medical services, and recovery programs for female victims of violent crimes as well as medical professionals. In addition, the new bills include directives to address the backlog of forensic evidence reviews related to crimes such as rape and domestic abuse.

NTUF used information from the Congressional Budget Office and the federal budget to estimate a $121 million annual cost for each of these bills, or $607 million over five years.

Other legislation highlighted this week:

  • Most Expensive: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced H.R. 188, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act. The bill would reestablish President Roosevelt's New Deal-era jobs program, at a cost of $16 billion per year ($64 billion over 4 years).
  • Least Expensive: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced S. 44, the Medical Care Access Protection Act (MCAP). Senator Portman's bill imposes various regulations on medical malpractice claims procedure, including limiting doctors' liability for drug-related accidents and reducing the fees attorneys are eligible to gain by representing claimants. It would save $18 billion over 5 years, or $3.6 billion annually.
  • The Wildcard: H.R. 230, sponsored by Congressman Al Green (D-TX), would authorize the Department of Commerce to fund "economic adjustment" strategies designed to help NASA employees in the Houston, Texas area who may be affected by looming budget cuts to the space program. It would cost $80 million over two years, or $40 million annually.

View the latest edition of the Taxpayer's Tab online by clicking here. To have future issues delivered to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our email list here.