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California U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analysis – Barbara Boxer
October 22, 2010
Total Net Spending Agenda: $15.847 billion
Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: Unknown
A. Bankruptcy and Home Foreclosures:
“… [M]any of our families, they could go to bankruptcy court, could get the judge to order lower payments and everybody would come together to do it – the banks and the consumer. There’s an anomaly in our bankruptcy law: if you go bankrupt, everything but your main house gets to be part of the settlement. We need to change that law … .”
B. Family and Medical Leave:
“Senator Boxer was an early cosponsor and avid supporter of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has been used more than 100 million times by Americans to take time off from work to care for a newborn child or an ailing family member. She supports expanding the scope of the law to make more workers eligible for this benefit.”
Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 3680 (111th Congress), the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act. A cost estimate is currently unavailable.
C. Net Neutrality:
“Senator Boxer supports net neutrality legislation to ensure that Internet Service Providers cannot discriminate against web sites or give preferential access to some web sites over others.”
Note: Senator Boxer was a cosponsor of S. 211 (110th Congress), the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, a bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure net neutrality. The legislation was reintroduced in the House of Representatives in the 111th Congress, but not in the Senate. A cost estimate is currently unavailable.
“The fact is our nation needs to incentivize companies like yours [technology firms] to hire American workers. We need to see the words ‘Made in America’ again.”
Note: It is unclear whether Senator Boxer would advocate proposals having only revenue effects (for example, tax penalties on U.S. employers who hire abroad) or having outlay effects as well (for example, “refundable” credits for U.S. employers who hire domestically).
E. Small Business Loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP):
“Reallocate TARP for Small Business Loans: Businesses must have greater access to capital to help our economy recover. Co-sponsored by Sen[ator]. Boxer, the Bank on Our Communities Act will allocate existing Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to viable community banks on the condition that they restart the flow of lending to small businesses.”
Note: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) prohibits the reuse of repaid TARP funds, according to CBO, The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update, August 2010, http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11705&type=1.
If Senator Boxer wanted to create the loan program without TARP funds, the potential cost to taxpayers would be determined, in part, by the subsidy rates associated with the different loan types. In a cost estimate for S. 2869 (111th Congress), the Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act of 2009, which would expand maximum loan sizes and increase loan guarantee rates, CBO states that “subsidy rates for those programs range from zero percent for the 504 program to about 12 percent for the microloan program.” http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11006&zzz=40172.
“I’m working with President Obama and his administration to write a new transportation bill, which will create millions more jobs, rebuilding the infrastructure of our great state … .”
Note: According to Table 33-1 of the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2011, Analytical Perspectives, the Federal Highway Administration received $51.75 billion in FY 2010 and requested $48.696 billion in FY 2011. These figures include $11.263 billion in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds. It is unclear how much additional funding Senator Boxer would support beyond these levels.
Education, Science, and Research: $1.484 billion
A. Academic Standards:
“Senator Boxer supports tough education standards to make sure our kids have the skills they need to succeed. At the same time, however, she believes that we must adequately fund education so that our schools and students can meet those standards.”
Note: According to the Table 4.1 of the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2011, Historical Tables, the Department of Education received $106.944 billion in FY 2010 and requests $94.261 billion in FY 2011. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 3558 (111th Congress), the No Child Left Behind Reform Act. The text authorizes $240 million over three years. It is unclear how much additional funding Senator Boxer would support beyond these levels.
B. After-School Programs:
“Senator Boxer is the leading Senate advocate and champion for after school programs to give children a safe and enriching place to go at the end of the school day. She wrote the law that authorizes federal funding for after school programs – the first such law of its kind. And she continues to fight to see that the program is fully funded.”
Cost: $1.334 billion (first-year cost).
Note: The President’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget requests $1.166 billion in FY 2011 for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Senator Boxer submitted Senate Amendment 953 to the concurrent resolution for Senate Conference Resolution 13 (page S4392 of the Congressional Record), which requested $2.5 billion in annual funding for the centers.
“She is also a strong supporter of various efforts to nurture the biotech industry, including increasing research funding for the National Institutes of Health … and supporting the Human Genome Project.”
Note: According to the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received $31.807 billion in FY 2010 and requested $37.289 billion in FY 2011. NIH received $10.4 billion in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. It is unclear how much additional funding Senator Boxer would support beyond these levels.
D. School Lunches:
“Senator Boxer introduced legislation to establish new nutritional guidelines for school lunches and to include time in the school day for physical activity. She also supports efforts to help schools better manage food allergies among students.”
Cost: $150 million (first-year cost).
Source: Senator Boxer has sponsored S. 3144 (111th Congress), a bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to improve the health and well-being of school children, and for other purposes. The text authorizes the funding.
E. Student Borrower Bill of Rights:
“To ensure that those with student loans can get timely information about their loans from banks and other financial institutions – and so they can make fair and reasonable payments – Senator Boxer supports legislation to create a student borrower’s Bill of Rights.”
Note: Senator Boxer cosponsored S. 511 (110th Congress), the Student Borrower Bill of Rights Act, a bill to provide student borrowers with basic rights, including the right to timely information about their loans and the right to make fair and reasonable loan payments, and for other purposes. The bill could also have an impact on federal loan programs through a limit on monthly payment amounts. A cost estimate is unavailable. Similar legislation has not been introduced in the 111th Congress.
F. Student Loan Repayment:
“Boxer supports having the federal government pay off a student’s loan if he or she serves in certain health care professions, in a Head Start program, or as an attorney for low-income individuals.”
G. Stem Cell Research:
“Senator Boxer supports stem cell research and has worked to ensure that critical research to benefit those suffering from some of the most devastating diseases and conditions can proceed.”
Note: Senator Boxer has cosponsored S. 3766 (111th Congress), the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act of 2010. Senator Boxer has also cosponsored S. 487 (111th Congress), the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009. Cost estimates for both bills are currently unavailable.
H. Training Workers:
“Senator Boxer believes we need to increase the capacity of the American workforce to fill jobs in the technology industry. In that light, she supports increased funding for math, science, and technology education.”
Note: In an accompanying report for H.R. 2847 (111th Congress), the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, the Committee recommended $1.049 billion for expanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education funding. The HIRE Act became law (PL 111-147), but this funding recommendation was not part of the final legislation that the President signed. It is unclear how much additional funding Senator Boxer would support beyond these levels and if she would support the Committee’s recommendation.
Energy, Environment, and Agriculture: Unknown
A. Superfund Cleanup:
“Senator Boxer is fighting for an expanded Superfund program – to clean up toxic waste sites around the country, many of which are located in low-income neighborhoods. In addition, she supports reinstating the requirement that polluters – not taxpayers – pay for the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites.”
Note: Senator Boxer is a cosponsor of S. 3164 (111th Congress), the Polluter Pays Restoration Act. A cost estimate of outlay effects, if any, is currently unavailable.
Health: $4.816 billion
A. Child Care Credit:
“Senator Boxer is a long-time supporter and cosponsor of legislation to increase federal support for child care funding so more parents can afford to send their children to quality child care programs.”
Cost: $4.22 billion ($21.1 billion over five years).
Source: Senator Boxer is the sponsor S. 210 (111th Congress), the Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2009. A cost estimate was obtained from the Tax Policy Center (2007).
B. Contraceptives – Emergency:
“Senator Boxer supports efforts to require hospitals to offer rape victims emergency contraception. She also supports funding for a public education campaign about the use, safety, and availability of emergency contraception.”
Cost: $1 million ($5 million over five years).
Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1236 (111th Congress), the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act of 2009. The text authorizes the funding. H.R. 1236 was included in S. 21 (111th Congress), the Prevention First Act, which Senator Boxer cosponsored (the legislation has not been passed into law).
C. Contraceptives – Insurance Coverage:
“Senator Boxer supports legislation requiring health insurance policies to cover prescription contraceptives – and legislation to ensure that pharmacies fulfill a woman’s prescription for contraceptives.”
Source: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 3068 (110th Congress), the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act of 2007. A cost estimate is unavailable. S. 3068 was included in S. 21 (111th Congress), the Prevention First Act, which Senator Boxer cosponsored (the legislation has not been passed into law).
D. Contraceptives – Medicaid:
“Senator Boxer supports increased coverage of and access to contraceptives under the Medicaid program for low-income Americans.”
E. Heart Disease and Strokes - Women:
“She supports legislation to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease and strokes in women.”
Cost: $58 million ($292 million over five years).
Source: Senator Boxer has cosponsored S. 422 (111th Congress), the Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act. The estimate is based on the text of the bill and budget baselines.
F. Postpartum Depression:
“She supports legislation to provide education for mothers about postpartum depression and anxiety, increase research into postpartum depression, and provide for postnatal screening services.”
Cost: $4 million ($18 million over five years).
Note: CBO cost estimate for S. 324 (111th Congress), the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. A CBO cost estimate for the bill’s House companion, H.R. 20, projected $18 million over five years.
G. Public Option:
Panelist: “If you are reelected, would you support an effort to add the public option to the law?”
Boxer: “I would.”
Cost: $533 million ($1.6 billion over five years).
Source: H.R. 5808 (111th Congress), a bill to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish a public health insurance option. The estimate is based on the text of the bill and CBO data.
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $6.84 billion
A. First Responders:
“Senator Boxer is fighting to increase funding for local police departments, fire departments, and paramedics – the first responders who are on the front lines of public safety.”
Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1694 (111th Congress), a bill to allow the funding for the interoperable emergency communications grant program established under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to remain available until expended through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes, and S. 3625 (111th Congress), the First Responders Protection Act of 2010. Both pieces of legislation provide standards and grants for the broadcast spectrum needs of public safety agencies. Cost estimates for the bills are currently unavailable.
B. Police Retirement Benefits:
“She supports legislation to ensure that retired [police] officers and their spouses receive their full retirement benefits by ending the benefit reduction that many receive in Social Security.”
Cost: $6.84 billion ($34.2 billion over five years).
Note: Senator Boxer cosponsored S. 484 (111th Congress), the Social Security Fairness Act of 2009. A cost estimate was obtained from a 2007 Social Security Administration Chief Actuary report.
A. Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
“Senator Boxer supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes both a path to citizenship and tougher border security.”
Note: Senator Boxer cosponsored S. 9 (110th Congress), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. A cost estimate is unavailable. Boxer also voted for S. 611 (109th Congress), the Emergency Medical Services Support Act. CBO estimated S. 611 would cost $5 million over five years.
In August 2010, President Obama signed H.R. 6080 (111th Congress), a bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for border security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes. The bill increased funding for more agents and equipment along the Mexican border. Media reports cite $600 million as a total cost.
Furthermore, Senator Boxer voted for S. 2611 (109th Congress), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which would have created a process for long-time illegal aliens to gain citizenship. The bill also would have created a temporary worker program. CBO estimated that S. 2611 would have increased mandatory spending for federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps by $12.9 billion over five years. In addition, enforcement and border security provisions would have cost $25.2 billion over five years.
However, Senator Boxer also notes on her campaign website that “…she has long opposed the creation of a guestworker program, which is designed to create a permanent pool of low-paid workers and may actually have the effect of increasing illegal immigration.”
Since S. 2611 did include a guest worker program, it is unclear which cost elements of that legislation could now be attributable to Senator Boxer’s current agenda for immigration reform.
B. Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act:
“We have a recent study from USC [University of Southern California]… that said the way to get this economy going again is to go with comprehensive immigration reform. Now the DREAM Act is part of that.”
Note: Senator Boxer is a cosponsor of S. 729 (111th Congress), the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would adjust the status of certain undocumented alien children to conditional legal permanent resident status if they meet specific criteria. In the 108th Congress, CBO estimated that S. 1545, the DREAM Act, would have a minimal cost over the first five years, but would eventually cost upwards of $15 million a year for increased Medicaid and Food Stamp expenses for which the children would become eligible. Given the recent legislative changes to federal student loan programs and the changes made to Medicaid in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is uncertain what the current cost of this legislation might be.
Veterans: $2.704 billion
A. Concurrent Receipt:
“Senator Boxer strongly supports allowing concurrent receipt of retirement benefits and disability pay.”
Cost: $2.704 billion ($13.518 billion over five years).
Source: Senator Boxer has cosponsored S. 546 (111th Congress), the Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2009. A CBO cost estimate is currently available.
B. Higher Education Benefits for Military Members:
“Senator Boxer supports deferring all student loan repayments for members of the military in a combat zone and for the first six months after they return home.”
National Defense and International Relations: -$36 million (savings)
A. AIDS in Africa:
“As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Boxer has been one the leaders in the Senate in the effort to fund international HIV/AIDS relief – a disease that reached epidemic proportions in sub-Saharan Africa. She has introduced legislation to dramatically increase funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s HIV/AIDS program, and she continues to push for even greater funding.”
Note: It is unclear which specific programs Senator Boxer would expand or establish. Senator Boxer cosponsored S. 805 (110th Congress), the African Health Capacity Investment Act of 2007. CBO estimated that S. 805 would cost $523 million over five years. However, NTUF was unable to determine if all the provisions in that bill eventually became part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was renewed in 2008 at a total cost of $48 billion over five years (2009-2013).
B. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
“Senator Boxer believes that gay men and lesbians should be able to serve their country openly in the military.”
Cost: -$36 million (-$180 million over five years).
Source: Senator Boxer cosponsored H.R. 1283 (111th Congress), the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009. A University of California report estimates the cost of discharging service members and then recruiting and training their replacements to have been $364 million over the first decade of the policy.
Miscellaneous – Federal Government: $39 million
A. Federal Workforce – Partner Benefits:
“Senator Boxer supports marriage equality and was an early opponent of [California] Proposition 8.”
Cost: $39 million ($196 million over five years).
Source: Senator Boxer has cosponsored S. 1102 (111th Congress), the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. A CBO cost estimate is currently available.