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Florida U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analysis – Kendrick Meek
October 18, 2010
Total Net Spending Agenda: $97.987 billion
Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $40.572 billion
A. Catastrophic Insurance:
“Kendrick shares the concerns of all Floridians that the next storm that comes along could be the one that wipes out their business or home and leaves their family with nothing. That’s why he’s working on a solution to the state’s insurance crisis.”
Cost: $333 million ($1.667 billion over five years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 2555 (111th Congress), the Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2010, a bill to ensure the availability and affordability of homeowners’ insurance coverage for catastrophic events. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is available.
B. Infrastructure – Transportation:
“As Florida’s Senator, Kendrick will continue to ensure the integrity of our infrastructure. He will fight for the necessary federal investments in our roads and bridges so that their safety is never questioned. Kendrick also supports greater investments in light rail and other local commuter projects.” http://www.kendrickmeek.com/index.php/issues/transportation_and_infrastructure/
Cost: $2.7 billion ($13.5 billion over five years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 2355 (111th Congress), the Making Opportunities Via Efficient and More Effective National Transportation Act of 2009. According to its official title, HR 2355 would “establish a National Goods Movement Improvement Fund to provide funding for infrastructure projects that will improve the movement of goods, mitigate environmental damage caused by the movement of goods, and enhance the security of transported goods.” The bill’s sponsor said the legislation would “raise approximately $2.7 billion per year” to “provide crucial funding for infrastructure projects ... .”
C. Job Creation:
“… [M]uch more must be done [to boost employment], and Kendrick continues to be a stalwart supporter of job creation legislation.”
Cost: $37.5 billion ($75 billion over two years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 4812 (111th Congress), the Local Jobs for America Act, a bill to provide funds to states, units of general local government, and community-based organizations to save and create local jobs through the retention, restoration, or expansion of services needed by local communities, and for other purposes. The sponsors state the bill would “invest $75 billion over two years to local communities to hire vital staff[.]”
D. Job Creation - Green Jobs:
“America’s workers are the best in the world and, as Florida’s senator, Kendrick will invest in their future by supporting the President’s plan to create millions of new jobs in green technologies, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and increase funding for research and development.”
Note: See “Cap-and-Trade,” below.
E. Small Business Loans:
“Kendrick believes we must continue boosting small business loans ... .”
Cost: $39 million ($197 million over five years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 5116 (111th Congress), the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Section 502 of the bill would establish an Economic Development Administration program to provide loan guarantees to small- and medium-sized businesses to support innovative manufacturing technologies. CBO estimates the program would cost $197 million over five years.
Education, Science, and Research: Unknown
A. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
“Although the budget boosts NASA funding by $6 billion over five years, it is only a drop in the bucket to what NASA’s priorities require.
Maintaining our nation’s competitive edge in manned spaceflights is critical to our security and prosperity. We cannot afford to cede our role as a space innovator and leader to Russia and China... As your next United States senator, I will continue fighting to support NASA and the Florida economy.”
Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: $51.54 billion
“Kendrick is the only candidate who supports comprehensive energy reform, including a cap-and-trade system, to break our dangerous addiction to foreign oil and transition to a clean energy future....
... Kendrick supports funding for alternative energy research. He believes that Florida’s sun, wind and biomass hold part of the key to a future free of oil.”
Cost: $51.54 billion ($257.7 billion over five years).
Source: Representative Meek voted for House passage of H.R. 2454 (111th Congress), the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which would establish a cap-and-trade system for carbon emission. The bill would increase funding for “green jobs” and alternative energy research. A CBO cost estimate is available.
“Kendrick supports … making every effort to restore the Everglades, reinstate its natural water flow, and prevent further destruction of unique natural habitats, such as the coral reefs found just off Florida’s coast.”
Note: Representative Meek was a cosponsor of H.R. 617 (110th Congress), the Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy Act of 2007. A $683 million project from that bill was included within H.R. 1495 (110th Congress), the Water Resources Development Act, which became law.
Federal Government: $326 million
“With the memory of the 2000 election not forgotten and given persistent hurdles voters face at the ballot box, Kendrick stands for free and fair elections that allow all Americans to fully participate. Kendrick wants voters to have confidence that their vote will be counted accurately.”
Cost: $268 million ($1.341 billion over five years).
Source: Representative Meek was a cosponsor of H.R. 811 (110th Congress), the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007. A CBO cost estimate is available.
B. Federal Employees – Partner Benefits:
“He also supports … partner benefits. There is no reason why any American should be denied hospital visits or inheritance rights or tax benefits based on their sexual orientation.”
Cost: $58 million ($290 million over five years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 2517 (111th Congress), the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. A CBO cost estimate is available.
Health Care: $3.903 billion
A. Unintended Pregnancies
“He ... supports efforts to reduce the need for abortion by supporting efforts to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.”
Cost: $3.903 billion (first-year cost).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 3312 (111th Congress), the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion, and Supporting Parents Act. The text authorizes appropriations to increase funding for various education, after-school, and pregnancy-prevention programs.
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $2 million
A. Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) Act:
“Kendrick remains the only candidate in the U.S. Senate race who supports the DREAM Act.”
Note: 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 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.
B. Hate Crimes:
“[Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered] Civil Rights[.] ... He … supports hate crime prevention [and] employment nondiscrimination ... .”
Cost: $2 million ($10 million over five years).
Source: Representative Meek voted in favor of House passage of H.R. 1913 (111th Congress), the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. A CBO cost estimate is available.
C. Immigration Reform:
“It is time to create a pathway to legalization for the nearly 12 million undocumented residents in the U.S. and provide them an opportunity to become tax-paying citizens and step out from the shadows of society.... We need to modernize our current immigration system – including making long-term investments in the technology and resources that protect our borders, ports, and airports - so that it provides alternatives to unauthorized immigration and the lengthy backlogs that harm families and children.”
Note: S. 2611 (109th Congress), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, would have created a process for long-time illegal aliens to gain citizenship, and it would have created a temporary worker program. CBO estimates that the bill 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. NTUF is uncertain to what degree Representative Meek’s plan would reflect the provisions of S. 2611.
D. Mortgage Fraud:
“He is determined to protect Florida’s seniors from mortgage fraud and subsequent foreclosure.”
Note: Representative Meek was a cosponsor of H.R. 529 (111th Congress), the Nationwide Mortgage Fraud Task Force Act of 2009. A cost estimate is unavailable.
National Defense and International Relations: $204 million
A. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal:
“Kendrick supports gays serving openly in the military and is the only candidate that has supported the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell since day one.”
Cost: -$36 million (-$180 million over five years).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 1283 (111th Congress), the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009, a bill to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 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 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“Our efforts must focus on building Haiti’s capacity to steer its own rebuilding effort. The recovery process demands innovative engineers, architects and other skilled professionals. We can do this in the United States by supporting educational programs that harness the knowledge of the Haitian Diaspora to train Haitian engineers and development experts of the future... The full recovery process will take years. We must be prepared to provide expertise and assistance for the long haul.”
Cost: $240 million (first-year cost).
Source: Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 4961 (111th Congress), the Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act of 2010, to provide for the establishment of the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund. The text authorizes the funding. Representative Meek is also a cosponsor of H.R. 417 (111th Congress), the Next Steps for Haiti Act of 2009,to provide for professional exchanges with Haiti, and for other purposes. A cost estimate is unavailable.
Veterans: $1.109 billion
“Kendrick believes that our veterans deserve to be served as well as they have served us.
Kendrick has fought for veterans throughout his time in public service and will continue to do so. He believes that honoring our commitment to our veterans is a three-part strategy that includes ... [p]rotecting future veterans and today’s men and women in uniform so that they retire healthy and well-adjusted to civilian life... Protecting veterans while they are active means ensuring that they have the best training and equipment. … Protecting veterans while they are active also means ensuring their safety on the battlefield... Moreover, keeping promises to veterans means prioritizing funding for the Veterans Administration (VA).”
B. Veterans – Health, Education, and Training:
“[Meek] believes that honoring our commitment to our veterans is a three-part strategy that includes … [k]eeping the promises of lifetime health care, educational opportunity, and job training. … Keeping our promise to veterans also means that we provide them top-quality health care for life. … He also requested funds and continues to advocate for increased traumatic brain/spinal cord injury research, Agent Orange research, extended injury rehabilitation, and extended benefits for service-related, post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Cost: $374 million ($1.724 billion over five years).
1. Rehabilitation and Job Training: $80 million ($400 million over five years).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 1821 (111th Congress), the Equity for Injured Veterans Act of 2009, a bill to increase vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance, and for other purposes. The Director of the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs testified before a House Congressional Committee that the bill would cost $400 million over five years.
2. Job Training: $36 million (first-year cost).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 3943 (111th Congress), the Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act, a bill to allow members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, to be eligible to participate in the Troops-to-Teachers Program, and for other purposes. The text authorizes increased funding.
3. Education: $2 million ($8 million over five years).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 2456 (111th Congress), the Veterans Education Tuition Support Act of 2009, a bill to provide for tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to students who withdraw from an institution of higher education to serve in the uniformed services, and for other purposes. The sponsor reported the bill would cost $8 million over five years.
4. Education: $256 million ($1.28 billion over five years).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 5933 (111th Congress), the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, a bill to improve educational assistance for veterans who served in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other purposes. A CBO cost estimate is available for its companion legislation, S. 3447.
C. Veterans – Retirement and Financial Security:
“[Meek] believes that honoring our commitment to our veterans is a three-part strategy that includes... [s]afeguarding their earned retirement compensation and the well-being of their families... Kendrick believes that keeping our promises to our veterans also means that we give them the necessary help transitioning from military service back to civilian life... Kendrick is also a co-sponsor of the End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010, which increases support for successful VA programs... Kendrick believes that it is important to protect the families of our men and women in uniform... Kendrick is a co-sponsor of legislation that repeals unfair provisions requiring offsets in the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from Survivor Benefit Plan annuities for surviving spouses of fallen servicemen. He is also a co-sponsor of a measure that provides for an annual, automatic cost of living adjustments [sic] for veterans’ compensation.”
Cost: $735 million ($3.676 billion over five years).
1. Housing: $120 million ($601 million over five years).
CBO estimates that H.R. 4810 (111th Congress), the End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010, would cost $601 million between FY 2011 and 2015.
2. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: $615 million ($3.075 billion over five years).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 775 (111th Congress), the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, a bill to repeal the requirement for reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan to offset the receipt of veterans dependency and indemnity compensation. A CBO cost estimate is available.
Miscellaneous: $331 million
“Kendrick also supports expanding services such as senior centers, meal delivery programs, supportive housing and rental assistance … .”
Cost: $331 million ($1.657 billion over five years).
1. Supportive Housing: $331 million ($1.657 billion over five years).
Representative Meek is a cosponsor of H.R. 403 (111th Congress), the Homes for Heroes Act of 2009: A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans and their families. A CBO cost estimate is available.
Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 5772 (110th Congress), the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009, a bill to amend section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act to improve the program under such section for supportive housing for persons with disabilities. CBO estimates the bill would cost $652 million over five years. The bill was reintroduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 1675. Representative Meek did not sponsor either bill.
2. Rental Assistance: Unknown.
Note: Related legislation was introduced in the form of H.R. 3045 (111th Congress), the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2009, a bill to change certain aspects of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) rental assistance programs. The bill would authorize funding for 150,000 new housing vouchers; alter calculations of tenant income, tenant rent, and public housing authority funding; change requirements for the inspection of housing units; and adjust requirements for the targeting of housing assistance. CBO estimates the bill would cost $7.554 billion over five years. Representative Meek is not a cosponsor of this legislation, and it is not restricted to elderly participants.