Government Bytes


What Budget Florida‘s 13th District Elected

by Dan Barrett / /

Yesterday, voters in the 13th Congressional District of Florida elected Republican David Jolly to finish out the late Congressman Bill Young’s (R-FL) term. A former counsel to the late Congressman, Jolly sought to continue some of the goals of Rep. Young as well as to elevate other fiscal issues to the national stage.

Now that taxpayers know who will be representing them in Washington, DC, the question remains what policies Congressman-elect Jolly will pursue. Though Jolly was outspoken about his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, many wonder what else will be on his agenda until another election is held in the district this November. To help educate voters before yesterday and to answer lingering questions today, NTU Foundation compiled all of the direct quotes and campaign literature put out by David Jolly (and the two other frontrunners) to show taxpayers exactly what kind of a federal budget he would support and what questions remain for the newest member of the House of Representatives. Check out the full Florida special election report.

What numbers we have: David Jolly had three specific policies that were clear enough to be scored. NTUF matched his proposals with in-house or third party data and, similar to our BillTally project, accounted only for changes in budgetary spending (or outlays). If these three were enacted, the government would spend a net $60 billion less per year.

  • Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: -$63.9 billion (savings)
  • Secure the Border: $3.68 billion
  • Prevent National Flood Insurance Premium Hike: $180 million

Jolly’s unknown spending policies: We have been analyzing campaign agendas for years but campaigns continue to not provide Americans with the information they need to understand how those seeking office would affect their tax dollars and their government. Though they were too broad to be quantified, NTUF found seven platform items that could affect the federal budget. The difficulty of scoring these policies is not new.

  • Index the Minimum Wage
  • Block Medicaid Expansion Without Federal Guarantee
  • Purchase Insurance Across State Lines
  • Ensure the Military is Properly Equipped
  • Fight for Local and Regional Military Installations
  • Strengthen America’s Foreign Policy
  • Protect Veterans Programs and Funding

Where savings could be: Depending how items would be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, one policy might save the government money. Jolly spoke of blocking the expansion of Medicaid -- an Affordable Care Act provision -- which might save money if Florida’s share of funds would be dedicated to deficit reduction.

Spending still prevalent: Six proposals in Jolly’s platform would either reallocate existing federal spending or increase expenditures by potentially billions of dollars. Without clarification, it is impossible to determine (for example) how keeping local and regional military bases open would affect other defense spending programs, potentially costing taxpayers more in the long run. It is hoped that as time goes on and Rep. Jolly organizes his staffs in Washington and Florida, he will clarify his positions on the above proposals and provide the intended or projected costs.

On net: Though it is not likely that a single Representative will affect federal spending on a mass scale, it is certain that David Jolly will vote on important fiscal issues. Those votes might point the government in a fiscally-sustainable direction or continue America’s deficits. Votes might include reforming the complex tax code, reauthorizing federal highway spending, and/or the many small bills that add up to big changes. The important takeaway from Florida’s latest special election is that candidates need to communicate their complete platforms to taxpayers and, once in office, to live by those promises. NTUF will be analyzing and scoring David Jolly’s legislation, just as we do so with every introduced bill in Congress.