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Policy Paper


Illinois U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analysis – Mark Kirk

October 25, 2010

Total Net Spending Agenda:  $734 million

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure:  $3.181 billion

A.  Lock-and-Dam Upgrades:

“As Senator, Mark Kirk will work to upgrade and expand our river infrastructure to bring our lock-and-dam system into the 21st century.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  $21 million ($103 million over five years).

Source:  Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1770 (111th Congress), the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act of 2009.  H.R. 1770 was previously introduced in the 110th Congress as H.R. 3224.  The estimate is from a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report for H.R. 3224 (110th Congress). www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/85xx/doc8552/hr3224.pdf. 

Representative Kirk did not sponsor either bill.

B.  Transportation Infrastructure:

“In addition, investments in rail and improvements to our interstate highway system will restore our state’s position as the nation’s economic crossroads.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  Unknown.

Note:  Representative Kirk is a cosponsor of H.R. 3725 (111th Congress), the National Highway Chokepoint Congestion Relief Act.  The measure would authorize the Secretary of Transportation to make grants available to reduce traffic congestion in national chokepoint regions.  A cost estimate is not available.

C.  Expand Regional Rail Service:

  •  “Connecting the Bloomington-Normal market with the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail line is an important piece of the region’s economy that Mark Kirk will take to the Senate.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2706

  • “As Senator, Mark Kirk will support Peoria’s push to expand rail service to Normal and connect the Peoria market to the St. Louis-Chicago line.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1792       

  • “As Illinois’ next senator, Mark Kirk supports establishing a direct passenger rail line between Chicago and the Quad Cities.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

  • “As a Senator, he will continue his support and back Springfield’s pursuit of high-speed rail access.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1691

Cost:  Unknown.

Note:  The Department of Transportation received $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for high-speed rail projects.  The Department notes that this is in addition to the $1 billion in funding that the President has requested for each of the next five fiscal years.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/PubAffairs/dot18-10.pdf

It is unknown how much additional funding Representative Kirk might support.

D.  Regional Airport Expansion:

  • “The Central Illinois Regional Airport is critical to Bloomington-Normal’s economy.  As Senator, Mark Kirk will back efforts to continue airport modernization and expansion to help the needs of one of Illinois’ fastest-growing regions.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2706

  • “The airport is a vital component of the economic future for the Quad Cities.  As Senator, Congressman Kirk will support its modernization and expansion.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

  •  “As Senator, Mark Kirk will back efforts to continue airport modernization and expansion [at General Wayne A. Downing International Airport in Peoria].”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1792

  • “Congressman Kirk will work closely with local officials to continue attracting both national and international cargo companies as well as assisting in the ongoing efforts to grow passenger service and fully utilize [Chicago-Rockford International Airport’s] capacity, including support of the $5 million taxiway rehabilitation project.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1265

  • “As Senator, Mark Kirk will back efforts to continue airport modernization and further utilize the MidAmerica Airport.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2992

  • “The Willard Airport, which is owned and operated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and serves as a research tool for the university, is key to the area’s economy.  As Senator, Mark Kirk will support modernization and expansion of the Willard Airport.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2887

Cost:  $2.776 billion ($8.329 billion over three years).

Source:  H.R. 915 (111th Congress), the Federal Aviation Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2009, would authorize funding for airport planning and development, among other things.  A CBO estimate is available. http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=10096&sequence=0&from=6 

Representative Kirk did not sponsor H.R. 915.  However, he did support the measure on passage.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll291.xml

E.  Small Business Bill of Rights:

“Congressman Kirk is the only candidate in this race to propose a Small Business Bill of Rights to protect small businesses from higher taxes, rising health care and energy costs and increasing government red tape.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2706

Cost:  $11 million ($22 million over two years).

Source:  Representative Kirk is the sponsor of H.R. 5109 (111th Congress), a  bill to establish a tax, regulatory, and legal structure in the United States that encourages small businesses to expand and innovate, and for other purposes.  The text authorizes the funding.

F.  International Trade Agreements:

“Allowing exporters to reach new markets is critical for economic growth to continue.  That is why Mark Kirk supports passage of the South Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The primary impact of free trade bills is generally on federal revenues.  Depending on the terms of the agreement, there may be some outlays as well.  For example, CBO projects that H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (110th Congress), “would reduce revenues by $20 million in 2008, increase revenues by $292 million over the 2008-2012 period, and reduce revenues by $423 million over the 2008-2017 period.  CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3688 also would increase direct spending by $4 million in 2008 and by $27 million over the 2008-2012 period, and reduce direct spending by $443 million over the 2008-2017 period. Further, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would result in new discretionary spending of less than $500,000 per year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.”

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=8790&type=1

G.  Revitalize Rockford:

“We must work to expand incentives to bring business to the area, focusing on SBA HUBZones to promote job growth, capital investment, and economic development to historically underutilized business zones.  This includes reinvesting in existing infrastructure by cleaning up EPA Brownfield sites to build a strong downtown that can be a boon for the economy.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1265

Cost:  $373 million ($1.865 billion over five years).

Source:  Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4188 (111th Congress), to authorize appropriations for Brownfields site assessment and cleanup, and for other purposes.  Estimate is based on budget data and the text of the bill.

Education, Science, and Research:  $86 million

A.  Rural Entrepreneurship Program:

“We must support the establishment of a rural entrepreneurship program with Illinois State University to provide rural entrepreneurs with resources from counseling with the Small Business Development Center staff to access to economic development professionals so their businesses can thrive and expand.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2706

Cost:  $66 million ($330 million over five years).

Source:  Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 2352 (111th Congress), the Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009.  Title VII of the bill would authorize grants to Small Business Development Center programs.  A CBO cost estimate is available.

http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=10219&sequence=0&from=6

While Representative Kirk was not a cosponsor of H.R. 2352, he did vote for it on passage.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll281.xml. 

B.  Education for Health Care Providers:

  •  “Educating future health care providers should remain a priority.  Mark Kirk will work to support programs at Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences and other important education institutions in the region.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

  •  “We must continue to support top-notch training facilities like the Carle Foundation Medical Center which is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and recently received the highest honor for nursing care in the country.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2887

Cost:  $20 million ($100 million over five years).

Source:  Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 724 (111th Congress), the America’s Partnership for Nursing Education Act of 2009.  The text authorizes the funding.  Representative Kirk is not a cosponsor of the legislation.

C.  Workforce Education:

“Mark Kirk will continue to support workforce education as he has in his 10th Congressional District.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

Cost:  Unknown.

D.  Boost Federal Research Programs:

  • “As a Senator, Mark Kirk will work to boost federal National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense research at SIU [Southern Illinois University].”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

  • “Mark Kirk will help boost federal research funding [at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] and help foster the transition of research capabilities to area companies.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2887

Cost:  Unknown.

E.  Public-Private Partnerships:

“He will also propose that SIU [Southern Illinois University] become a testbed for public-private partnerships to bring venture capital to foster the transition of university research into Southern Illinois companies.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

Cost:  Unknown.

F.  Support Community Colleges:

“As a Senator, Mark Kirk will support community colleges like John A. Logan, Southwestern Illinois College, Rend Lake College and Shawnee Community College.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

Cost:  Unknown.

G.  Rockford College Infrastructure Upgrades:

“Rockford College is the only four-year institution in Rockford and we must continue to support it with infrastructure upgrades to improving programs to help increase the quality of education in Rockford.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1265

Cost:  Unknown.

Note:  According to the President of Rockford College earlier this year, “… Congressman [Don] Manzullo and Senator [Dick] Durbin have joined forces to support earmarks totaling $745,000 over the past three years.  These funds have been used to upgrade our technology, classrooms and science equipment.”  It is unknown how much additional funding Representative Kirk might support.

http://www.rockford.edu/news/36724/Weekly-Update.htm

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment:  $17 million

A.  Expand the U.S. Commercial Service:

“As a Senator, Mark will fight to expand the Foreign Commercial Service … [to] help Illinois farmers and businesses establish and expand exports to growing markets.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  Unknown.

Note:  The U.S. Commercial Service is part of the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA).  According to ITA, “The President’s $534.3 million request [for Fiscal Year 2011] represents a 19.9 percent increase from the FY 2010 request, and an 18.2 percent increase from the FY 2010 budget enacted by Congress.  The request is the highest ever for ITA.”  http://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2010/budget_020110.asp

It is unclear how much additional funding Representative Kirk might support.

B.  Expand the Small Business Administration:

“As a Senator, Mark will fight to expand … the Small Business Administration … [to] help Illinois farmers and businesses establish and expand exports to growing markets.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  $17 million ($85 million over five years).

Source:  Representative Kirk is a cosponsor of H.R. 2310 (111th Congress), a bill to authorize assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses to promote exports to the People’s Republic of China, and for other purposes.  The text authorizes the funding.

C.  Expand the Department of Agriculture:

“As a Senator, Mark will fight to expand … the U.S. Department of Agriculture  … [to] help Illinois farmers and businesses establish and expand exports to growing markets.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  Unknown.

Source:  Under the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget request, the Department of Agriculture would receive $27 billion in discretionary budget authority – $1 billion less than in Fiscal Year 2010.  Total spending would rise to $149 billion, up from $135 billion the previous year, due to an increase in mandatory budget authority.  It is unknown how much additional funding Representative Kirk might support.

http://www.usda.gov/2010/02/0043.xml

D.  Expand the U.S. Trade Development Agency:

“As a Senator, Mark will fight to expand … the U.S. Trade Development Agency … [to] help Illinois farmers and businesses establish and expand exports to growing markets.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  Unknown.

Source:  The U.S. Trade and Development Agency received $55.2 million for Fiscal Year 2010.  The Administration has requested $56.2 million, equivalent to an additional $1 million for Fiscal Year 2011.  http://www.ustda.gov/otherinfo/FY2011_CongressionalBudgetJustification.pdf

E.  Lower Energy Costs:

“To lower energy costs, Mark supports nuclear energy, Yucca Mountain, offshore energy exploration and the trans-Canada pipeline.  He also supports streamlining approvals for new refineries and transmission facilities.  As a Senator, Mark will support a permanent production tax credit for renewable energy in hydro, win[d], solar and biomass.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=377

Cost:  Unknown.

Source:  Representative Kirk was the sponsor of H.R. 6385 (110th Congress), a bill to provide a large-scale national effort to improve the state of our national security, economy and environment by providing market incentives to produce and deploy alternative energy solutions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  A cost estimate is not available.

F.  Shawnee National Forest:

“As a Senator, Mark Kirk will work to protect our natural resources like the Shawnee National Forest and ensure that Southern Illinois tourism thrives in the 21stcentury [sic].”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

Cost:  Unknown.

Health Care:  -$2.575 billion (savings)

A.  Expand Access and Lower Costs:

“As Senator, Mark Kirk will fight to protect local hospitals from cuts to Medicare and promote policies that allow health care providers to expand access and lower costs.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2706

Cost:  Unknown.

Source:  Representative Kirk is on record as opposing reductions in Medicare spending necessitated by the Sustainable Growth Rate in current law. http://www.facs.org/ahp/berkley-kirk043009.pdf 

It is unknown whether Representative Kirk would support other spending reductions to offset the elimination of the Medicare cuts.  Additionally, Representative Kirk is the sponsor of H.R. 3970 (111th Congress), a bill to protect the doctor-patient relationship, improve the quality of health care services, lower the costs of health care services, expand access to health care services, and for other purposes.  A cost estimate is not available.

B.  Medical Liability Reform:

“With Illinois’ state medical liability reform law recently struck down, Congress should pass federal medical liability reform to stop the exodus of doctors from the practice of medicine.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

Cost:  -$2.575 billion (-$10.3 billion over five years).

Source:  In a 2009 letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, CBO stated, “Tort reform could affect costs for health care both directly and indirectly: directly, by lowering premiums for medical liability insurance; and indirectly, by reducing the use of diagnostic tests and other health care services when providers recommend those services principally to reduce their potential exposure to lawsuits.”  The agency estimated potential savings of $10.3 billion over five years. 

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10641/10-09-Tort_Reform.pdf

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement:  $20 million

A.  Meth Labs:

“As a Senator, he will continue [to] support the needs of local, state and federal law enforcement to crack down on meth labs, sales and addiction.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1946

Cost:  $20 million ($80 million over four years).

Source:  Representative Kirk is a cosponsor of H.R. 2541 (111th Congress), the Anti-Gang Task Force Act of 2009.  The text authorizes the funding.

National Security and International Relations:  Unknown

A.  Supporting Polish Allies:

“As Senator, Mark will fight to protect Polish sovereignty – and ensure the government has all it needs to stand up to Russian aggression.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=1015

Cost:  Unknown.

B.  Modernize the 182nd Airlift Wing:

“As a Senator, Mark Kirk will support efforts to modernize the 182nd [Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard] and gain new missions for the unit.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=1792

Cost:  Unknown.

C.  Modernize Scott Air Force Base:

“As a Senator, Mark Kirk will support efforts to modernize Scott Air Force Base for the men and women in uniform and the community it serves.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2992

Cost:  Unknown.

D.  Rock Island Arsenal:

“As Senator, Mark Kirk will protect the Rock Island Arsenal’s future and encourage its future growth to serve our Armed Forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?p=2616

Cost:  Unknown.

Miscellaneous:  $ 5 million

A.  Museum of the History of Polish Jews:

“Congressman Kirk also knows the importance the Polish Government places on Holocaust remembrance – in particular, the restoration of Auschwitz and the development of a permanent collection at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.  As a cosponsor of H.R. 1590, Mark will continue to work with the Polish Government to support these efforts.”

http://www.kirkforsenate.com/?page_id=1015

Cost:  $5 million (first-year cost).

Source:  Representative Kirk is a cosponsor of H.R. 1590 (111th Congress), a bill to provide assistance for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland.  The text authorizes the funding.